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What workplace actions are prohibited under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids employers from treating women unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth or any related condition at any time during hiring or employment. Employers must handle any disability issue caused by pregnancy or childbirth no differently than other short-term disabilities.

Therefore, pregnant employees may not be fired, passed over for hire or promotion, denied benefits or harassed because of pregnancy, an intention to become pregnant or the termination of a pregnancy. Employers may not ask an employee or prospective hire about pregnancy. They also may not force pregnant workers to take leave because of a perceived risk of harm to the pregnant worker or baby. In order for PDA protections to apply, generally the woman must disclose to her employer that she is pregnant.

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