Did you know that it is unlawful for any employer in the State of Michigan to discriminate against you because you are pregnant, you intend to become pregnant in the future, you were pregnant in the past, or because you have a medical condition related to pregnancy? Furthermore, if you are a nursing mother you may have protection. Discrimination is illegal in the workplace.
Pregnant women in the State of Michigan enjoy protection under Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Act, as well as Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. (Hereinafter: “PDA”) The PDA prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Similarly, the Elliot-Larsen Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition (except abortions not required to save a mother’s life). This law applies to all employers, whereas the PDA applies only to employers of 15 or more individuals.
These laws not only prohibit discrimination but ensure pregnant women are afforded certain accommodations and are treated in the same manner as employees who are not pregnant or who were recently pregnant, or who intend to be pregnant in the future. In June, 2015 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) submitted revised guidelines on the issues surrounding Pregnancy Discrimination. These guidelines discuss issues such as: Pregnancy and Maternity Leave, Hiring and Working Conditions, Pregnancy and Temporary Disability, Health Insurance and Equal Access to Benefits.
Basic PDA requirements maintain that employers treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions in the same manner as other applicants or employees in their inability to work. Employers beware, the PDA covers all aspects of employment including, hiring, firing, promotions, and fringe benefits. The PDA prohibits an employer from restricting women or pregnant women from assignments it deems dangerous or hazardous, even if the employer believes it is acting in the women’s best interest. Furthermore, the PDA requires an employer to accommodate a breast feeding mothers nursing schedule. (The State of Michigan has no law discussing workplace breastfeeding)
In addition, light duty and permitted leaves of absences must be afforded to pregnant women equally as they are afforded to other employees in need of accommodation, and an employer may not remove a pregnant employee from her job so long as she is able to perform her job and must allow her to return to work following her recovery from pregnancy to the same extent as employees on sick, or disability leave are allowed to return.
Other Federal laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA), the Affordable Care Act and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) affect pregnant women. Employers of 50 employees or more must adhere to all of them.
Contact the Attorneys at Tishkoff PLC
If you are an employer looking for some counsel and guidance through these complicated State and Federal Laws, or are a female who thinks she may have been discriminated against as a result of a past, current, or future pregnancy, please set up a no-cost consultation with one of our attorneys. The team at Tishkoff PLC is here to help. Contact us online or call our office today. Toll Free: 1 (855) TISH-LAW.