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What constitutes pregnancy discrimination?

A Georgia woman is suing a Peach Tree City corporation for alleged pregnancy discrimination. According to the complaint, the company fired her rather than making an effort to accommodate her pregnancy related restrictions. The woman was instructed by her supervisor to perform a physical task that conflicted with medical restrictions set by her doctor. She had provided proper documentation of the restrictions to her supervisor, and company management. However, when she refused to perform the tasks citing the restrictions, her manager told her to either due the work or lose her job. She refused and was terminated.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (Title VII), makes its unlawful to discrimination against women who are pregnant. This includes hiring, not promoting, firing and the taking of pregnancy and maternity leave. If a worker is unable to perform her job because of a pregnancy-related concern, generally the employer must make efforts to reasonably accommodate that worker if they do so in other situations where temporary disabilities arise. This includes modifying tasks or providing alternative assignments. Further, pregnant workers should be permitted to work as long as they can perform their jobs. If they have to take leave due to a complication or condition that arises while pregnant, but that condition resolves, the employer can’t require that they stay on leave. An employer also must keep a job open for the same period of time that they hold a job open for those on sick or disability leave.

In this instance according to the complaint on file, the woman is seeking back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages following her wrongful termination. 

For more information or if you believe you have suffered any type of workplace discrimination, please contact the experienced Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP

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