The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects pregnant women from unfair treatment in the workplace. While it identifies pregnancy and childbirth as covered conditions, it also mentions related medical conditions.
This term is vague, and many women might not know what qualifies under the law. A closer look at the conditions protected by the PDA may encourage more women to seek guidance if they experience one of these situations.
Medical conditions related to pregnancy begin before women become pregnant. To become pregnant, some women must undergo infertility treatments, genetic testing, or hormone therapy. These treatments often require taking time off work, might make women feel unwell, and can limit performance on the job.
Every woman experiences pregnancy differently. While some have no issues, others may develop conditions that require work modifications, such as:
- pregnancy-induced hypertension
- gestational diabetes
- preterm labor
- diastasis recti
- back pain
- morning sickness
Even if a condition is not commonly known to the general population, if a doctor determines a woman’s employer must modify her job for the safety of her pregnancy, then the employer can not discriminate against her for this reason.
PDA coverage does not end at a child’s birth. Women experience physical, emotional, and hormonal changes after delivery that may affect their ability to perform their jobs. Some covered conditions are lactation, postpartum depression, and miscarriage.
Pregnancy can cause several medical conditions for women. Knowing the different conditions covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act may encourage women to request needed job modifications without fear of discrimination.