California Employment Law: Discrimination because of Abortion is Illegal

Under PDA (Pregnancy Discrimination Act), it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy,childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs. This law is construed broadly and has been held by courts to include protection against pregnancy discrimination to women who underwent abortion, as abortion is a “medical condition” arising from pregnancy. Doe v. C.A.R.S. Protection Plus, Inc. (2008).

The basic principle of PDA is that women affected by pregnancy and related conditions must be treated the same as other applicants and employees on the basis of their ability or inability to work. The PDA doesn’t require that employers treat pregnant employees better than other temporarily disabled workers, but the PDA does require that employers treat pregnant employees no worse than all others.

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