Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

Definition - What does Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 mean?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 is federal legislation that bans employers from taking certain actions against an employee or prospective employee based on her pregnancy. This pertains to all aspects of employment including but not limited to hiring, termination, pay, assignment of duties or responsibilities, promotions and health insurance; and medical, personal or other paid leave.

Justipedia explains Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 expanded the scope of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by adding language to Title VII that specifically protects American women from discrimination based on pregnancy.

It makes a pertinent point: "Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including the receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, and nothing in section 703(h) of this title shall be interpreted to permit otherwise."

The passing of this legislation occurred in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in General Electric Co. v. Gilbert, 429 U.S. 125 (1976). In this controversial case, the court ruled that the company's disability program wasn't discriminatory, even though it didn't provide benefits for disability resulting from pregnancy or childbirth.

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