Pregnancy Discrimination And Retaliation Are Illegal
Davis & Davis, P.C., has represented pregnant women in a variety of employment cases, and represents employers faced with pregnancy discrimination claims in Massachusetts.
Pregnant women in Massachusetts have certain rights under both the state and federal statutes that prohibit discrimination in the workplace based upon sex and disability. Pregnant women in Massachusetts also have the right to a leave of absence from work for pregnancy-related medical care and childbirth.
Massachusetts companies cannot penalize women based upon their pregnancy or use of maternity leave.
A Massachusetts employer generally may be liable if it uses a woman’s pregnancy, childbirth or potential or actual use of maternity leave as a reason for any adverse job action. See School Comm. of Braintree v. MCAD, 377 Mass. 424, 427 (1979).
The situations in which a pregnant woman, or a woman planning a pregnancy, may experience discrimination are numerous, but generally fall within three classifications:
- Disparate treatment claims require the plaintiff to prove that the employer intended to discriminate against the employee on the basis of pregnancy.
- Disparate impact claims require the plaintiff to prove that, while an employer’s practices are facially neutral, they have a disproportionate effect on a protected class.
- Discriminatory policy implementation, such as a “fetal protection policy” in a hazardous industry, allege that the policy in question is discriminatory on its face. Such a policy can only be upheld if it is a bona fide occupational qualification.
Contact Our Lawyers Whether You Need Compliance Advice Or Representation
We are always ready to consult with employees facing a discriminatory situation at work, or with employers concerned about the possibility of pregnancy discrimination litigation. Email our attorneys or call our office in North Reading at 978-276-9051.