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Sterling Employment Law

Several states lobbying against pregnancy discrimination

While some states like Michigan, Connecticut and California have existing state laws to prevent discrimination against pregnant women, many states do not have laws of this nature. Some states have seen new bills introduced to prevent this type of workplace discrimination, including Iowa, Illinois and Maine.

One case that the American Civil Liberties Union took notice of occurred in Maryland. A woman was forced to leave her job at UPS once the corporation discovered that she was pregnant. The woman attempted to seek compensation by suing her employer on the basis of pregnancy discrimination when the company failed to give her a rotation of light-duty work, even though it offered similar work to individuals with disabilities and those who suffered from workplace injuries. The Maryland court ruled against the employee, believing that a contrary ruling would result in giving pregnant workers a favored status.

Other states have taken a different position and believe that forcing pregnant women out of the workforce is not fair and is unlawful, especially when disabled individuals have protections. Maryland recently passed a law that would prohibit actions such as the one that the UPS worker faced and is only awaiting the governor's signature. The new law will allow pregnant women to have the same type of accommodations as individuals with temporary disabilities. New York is attempting to pass a similar law that would give pregnant workers reasonable accommodations.

Individuals who believe that they have been discriminated against on some protected status, such as race, nationality or sex may wish to speak with a Detroit employment law attorney. An attorney may be able to explain a person's rights and what compensation may be available.

Source: Womens eNews, "States Fight Back Against Pregnancy Discrimination", Lenora M. Lapidus and Ariela Migdal, May 02, 2013

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