When a Minneapolis resident gets pregnant, they may want to shout it from the rooftops and let everyone know about the exciting changes coming up ahead for them. Unfortunately, if they are afraid of losing their job because they have become pregnant, it can put a huge damper on their excitement. This is why many people may not be aware that it is illegal to discriminate against pregnant workers.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace. The U.S. Supreme Court has often taken this to mean that pregnant women are entitled to the same accommodations that disabled people are. As a result, many workers have filed lawsuits against their employers and recent lawsuits against Walmart demonstrate that employers are still not taking their legal obligations seriously.
The largest private employer in the country, Walmart faces a lawsuit filed by the Equal Opportunity Commission accusing the company of denying pregnant worker’s requests for easier duties and of forcing them to go on unpaid leave. According to the employee who filed the lawsuit, the company denied her requests to restrict heavy lifting, for additional breaks and for a chair. According to the lawsuit, other pregnant workers were also denied these requests, but workers with disabilities were granted them.
As the lawsuit progresses through the court system, workers and employers alike will likely be keeping their eyes on it. Federal laws are in place to protect employees from employment discrimination and the one in question can ensure that an employee can continue working while enjoying their pregnancy. If an employee is being denied their rights, they may be able to file a lawsuit to protect their rights.