Pregnant employees need not resign from their work to attend to their medical condition. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, qualified pregnant employees may assert certain rights and enjoy protection against discrimination due to pregnancy, disability, or child birth.
The pregnant employee may file a complaint against the employer who terminates her employment on the basis of her medical condition. The employer should be careful in dealing with the pregnant employee and must abide with the regulations of Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Here are some guidelines on how to treat a pregnant employee properly and legally:
1. The employee who applied for maternity leave should still be given her due salary and benefits at the time of leave. She must retain her status and be protected from termination. If she is a candidate for promotion and has resumed her post, the decision of the management must still show fairness.
2. The management may allow the pregnant employee to use all available sick and vacation leave before starting the coverage for health insurance or benefits.
3. The employer may request a medical certificate from the employee's doctor only if it is the consistent practice of the management. The new mother may file a complaint if the employer refuses to reinstate her position.
4. The employer may only use the notice of pregnancy for granting health care benefits and not for discrimination or termination.
5. The pregnant employee must be given equal opportunity if she is looking for a new job. The employer must consider the application promptly and assess the employee if she meets the job qualifications.
6. The employer is prohibited from forcing the pregnant employee to take a maternity leave. She is free to report from work as long as she can perform her work duties.
7. The company must be consistent in providing leave and health care benefits to pregnant employees with regular status.
8. The pregnant employee may take as long as four months of maternity leave. The salary payment within this period varies depending on the regular rate and health insurance coverage of the company.
9. The employer must give equal accommodation for disabled employees and pregnant employees.
10. The employer must give equal benefits to married pregnant employees and unmarried pregnant employees. This goes with the benefits of disabled workers and pregnant workers.
If your employer has terminated your employment contract on the basis of your pregnancy or child birth, you may file a Pregnancy Discrimination lawsuit.
Consult with a Labor Rights attorney in Los Angeles and learn more on how to assert your rights.