When women in the workplace in Michigan decide to start a family, there are laws that prevent an employer from discriminating against them. Just like the protections awarded for things like gender, race and nationality, pregnant women have the right to be treated similarly to any other employee. They can also expect for accommodations to be made for them when needed. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission details the facts of pregnancy discrimination that all workers should know.

If a woman is pregnant and can perform the functions of the job, she cannot be denied employment. Prejudice by customers, clients or co-workers are not acceptable reasons for a pregnant woman to not be hired. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, pregnant women cannot be discriminated against in terms of promotion, job assignments, pay, training, layoffs, firing, fringe benefits or any other term of employment.

Health insurance provided by an employer must cover pregnancy related costs exactly as they would for any other medical condition. The insurance is not required to cover costs for abortion unless the mother’s life is at risk or health complications come from an abortion.

Any benefits offered to employees on medical leave must also be offered to a woman on pregnancy leave. Those with disabilities related to pregnancy must be given the same accommodations as other temporarily disabled employees in terms of accruing vacation time, seniority, disability benefits and pay increases.

In 1993, the government passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires that all parents, including foster and adoptive, are eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave to care for the new addition to their family. The only conditions on this accommodation are that the employer have a certain number of employees and that the pregnant worker has worked for the company for at least one year. Any pregnant woman who feels she has been discriminated against may benefit from speaking to an attorney.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.