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Pregnancy Discrimination: State Law

Currently there are 47 states (and D.C.) that have some form of legal protections for employees against pregnancy discrimination. Many of these states have laws prohibiting employers from discriminating against pregnant women, and requiring an employer to apply the same benefits, terms, and conditions to pregnancy, birth, recovery or associated conditions as are applied to other temporary disabilities. However, only 29 of these states have pregnant worker fairness acts, which require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees so that they can stay healthy while working.

There are 3 states that have no such laws. In these states you do not have a state law claim for disability discrimination related to pregnancy: Alabama, North Carolina, and South Dakota.

However, in the following states, you may have a state law claim so long as your employer employs the required number of employees. Read below for more information about these state laws.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky

Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Alaska

Alaska’s Human Rights Law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy. There is no employee minimum. This applies to all employers except for social, fraternal, charitable, educational, or religious non-profit organizations. State pregnancy accommodation laws apply to public employees only.

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Arizona

While Arizona’s Civil Rights Act does not explicitly prohibit pregnancy discrimination, courts have interpreted the legislation to include protections against pregnancy discrimination in employment. This applies to all employers with at least 15 employees. State pregnancy accommodation laws apply to public employees only.

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Arkansas

The Arkansas Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This applies to employers with at least 9 employees. Religious organizations are exempt. State pregnancy accommodation laws apply to public employees only. However, employers are required to make accommodations for breastfeeding employees, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship.

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California

All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 5 or more eligible employees.  In California, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability because of pregnancy, birth, or related medical condition.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by pregnancy for 4 months if they have been disable by pregnancy, birth, or related medical conditions.

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Connecticut
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 3 or more eligible employees.  In Connecticut, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability resulting from pregnancy.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by pregnancy by giving the employee a reasonable leave of absence.

Delaware
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 4 or more eligible employees.  In Delaware, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of known limitations related to pregnancy, birth, and related conditions.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by pregnancy by providing breaks, a modified schedule, and time off to recover from birth.  Delaware has the undue hardship exception.

District of Columbia
No employee minimum to file a claim under state law. In DC, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of known limitations related to pregnancy, birth, and related conditions.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by pregnancy by providing breaks, a modified schedule, and time off to recover from birth.  DC has the undue hardship exception.

Hawaii
No employee minimum to file a claim under state law. In Hawaii, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability due to and resulting from pregnancy, birth, or related medical conditions.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by pregnancy by providing a leave for a reasonable amount of time as determined by the employee’s physician, with regard for the employee’s physical condition and job requirements.

Illinois
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 15 or more eligible employees.  In Illinois, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of known limitations related to pregnancy, birth, and related conditions.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by pregnancy by providing breaks, allowing for part-time or a modified work schedule, providing time off to recover from conditions related to birth, providing leave necessitated by pregnancy, birth, or medical or common conditions related pregnancy or birth.  Illinois has the undue hardship exception.

Iowa
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 4 or more eligible employees.  In Iowa, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of known limitations related to pregnancy, birth, and related conditions.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by giving them time off.  Time off is determined by the employee’s medical conditions or 8 weeks, whichever is less.

Kansas
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 4 or more eligible employees.  In Kansas the employer must accommodate the employee affected by giving them time off after birth.  Kansas has the undue hardship exception.

Kentucky
All employees are eligible to file a claim under Kentucky state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy so long as the employer employs more than 8 individuals.

Louisiana
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 25 or more eligible employees.  In Louisiana, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of known limitations related to pregnancy, birth, and related conditions.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by giving them a reasonable leave of absence while the employee is disable on account of pregnancy, birth, or related medical conditions for a maximum of 4 months.  Leave on account of a normal pregnancy, birthday, or related medical condition cannot exceed 6 weeks.

Maine
All employees are eligible to file a claim under Kentucky state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement.

Maryland
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 15 or more eligible employees.  In Maryland, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by giving them a leave of absence and changing the employees work hours

Michigan
All employees are eligible to file a claim under Michigan state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement.

Minnesota
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 21 or more eligible employees.  In Minnesota, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability due to health conditions related to pregnancy.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by giving them a leave of absence and allowing breaks.

Montana
All employees are eligible to file a claim under Montana state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement.  In Montana, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability due to temporary disability due to the result of pregnancy or birth.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by giving them a reasonable leave of absence.

Nevada
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 15 or more eligible employees. 

New Hampshire
All employees are eligible to file a claim under New Hampshire state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement.  In New Hampshire, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability due to temporary disability due to the result of pregnancy, birth, or related medical condition.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by giving them rest periods and modified work schedule.

New Jersey
All employees are eligible to file a claim under New Jersey state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement.  In New Jersey, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability due to temporary disability due to the result of pregnancy, birth, or related medical condition.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by giving them rest periods and modified work schedule.

New Mexico
Minimum of 4 employees to file a claim under state law.

Ohio
All employees are eligible to file a claim under Ohio state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement

Oklahoma
All employees are eligible to file a claim under Oklahoma state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement

Oregon
All employees are eligible to file a claim under Oregon state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement

Rhode Island
All employees are eligible to file a claim under Rhode Island state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement

South Carolina
Minimum of 15 employees to file a claim under state law.

Texas
Minimum of 15 employees to file a claim under state law.

Washington
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 8 or more eligible employees.  In Washington, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability if they are temporary disabled or sick by pregnancy or birth.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected by giving them period of time of leave equivalent to the period of time that she is sick or temporarily disabled.

West Virginia
All employees are eligible to file a claim so long as their employer has 12 or more eligible employees.  In West Virginia, you cannot be discriminated on the grounds of disability for known limitations relating to pregnancy, birth, or related conditions.  The employer must accommodate the employee affected but the statute does not specify what proper accommodations are.

Wisconsin
All employees are eligible to file a claim under Wisconsin state law for disability discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.  There is no minimum requirement




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