Many women are capable of working throughout their pregnancy. Taking time off from work due to a pregnancy is a personal decision for each mother. Indiana employers are not allowed to treat you differently during your pregnancy or make hiring and firing decisions based on a pregnancy.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, or PDA, is a federal law that protects pregnant workers from discrimination. While this law only applies to workplaces that have at least 15 employees, there are other state or local laws that may protect pregnant workers in smaller companies. The PDA protects pregnant workers from discrimination in:
- Hiring decisions
- Firing decisions
- Promotion decisions
Pregnant workers are also protected from being discriminated against for taking maternity leave or for filing an employment discrimination complaint. Employers cannot treat a pregnant employee disparately because they are pregnant.
You don’t have to tell employers you’re pregnant
Pregnancy discrimination often happens in the hiring process when employers refuse to hire pregnant job candidates. This type of discrimination is illegal, and it is also illegal for an employer to ask you if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
An employer who is trying to avoid being caught discriminating may ask an innocent-sounding question that leads you to tell them you’re pregnant. Don’t feel like you have to answer personal questions about your family at a job interview or at work.
You are entitled to reasonable accommodation
It’s normal for a pregnant woman to require some accommodations at work throughout her pregnancy. For example, if you are a cashier, it may be reasonable to ask for a chair to sit down in while you’re working. If an employer does not provide a pregnant employee with reasonable accommodations she requests, the employer could be in violation of the PDA.