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Can you be refused a job because of pregnancy?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2022 | Employment Law |

Pregnancy discrimination comes in a few different forms, but at the core, no business can refuse to hire you, decide to fire you, or make other negative decisions just because you are pregnant. For example, if you go to an interview while pregnant, it is illegal for the interviewer to tell you that they don’t hire pregnant people in most cases.

Pregnancy discrimination is unfair, but you are protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This act has a few specific rules.

Understanding the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act states that pregnancy discrimination is forbidden with any aspect of employment including:

  • Job assignments
  • Layoffs
  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Pay
  • Training
  • Fringe benefits
  • Other conditions of employment

So, if you go to an interview and are told that they do not hire pregnant women, that statement completely disregards the protections the law offers you. It’s not fair to tell someone that they cannot be hired due to pregnancy, and doing so may be a violation of the law.

There are, of course, times when pregnant people cannot work or may need reasonable accommodations to do their jobs. In some cases, businesses won’t be able to absorb the cost of accommodations or be able to safely hire someone who is pregnant, so there may be exemption that you need to consider. This is something to go over with your attorney if you have proof of the refusal due to your pregnancy that you would like to contest.

Do you have to disclose pregnancy?

No. You don’t have to disclose that you’re pregnant or that you wish to become pregnant to an employer or potential employer. It may be safer to do so because you’re being transparent with the interviewer or employer about your goals, but you don’t need to do so if you think that they will frown upon it.

There are legal protections in place to help you get and maintain a job if you are pregnant, but if you’re concerned, you may also choose not to disclose your pregnancy at the moment. If you run into trouble due to your pregnancy, remember to take notes and recall as much as possible, so you can look into making a claim.