Pregnancy Discrimination: State Law

Most states have laws that provide employment protections against pregnancy discrimination. Employment discrimination includes adverse actions like firing, demoting, and refusing to hire based on a protected characteristic. Many of these laws also prohibit employers from refusing to provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. For example, it may be discriminatory for an employer to mandate an employee to take leave when the employee feels it is unnecessary, but employers simultaneously may be required to grant leave if it would be a reasonable accommodation. 

As of early 2024, the few states without an employment pregnancy discrimination law are Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and South Dakota. Please note, however, that there may be pending legislation or new laws enacted since this page was posted.

Some laws are restricted to employers with a minimum number of employees, while others apply to all employers. It is important to note that state laws merely supplement federal law in this area. If a state has no law on pregnancy discrimination in employment, federal laws still apply. If a state law offers more protection than a federal law does, the additional protections apply. For example, the PWFA applies only to employers with 15 or more employees, but a state law may require the same protections be given by employers of any size.

The primary federal laws on workplace pregnancy discrimination are Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the FMLA, and the PWFA. The PWFA is very new, having become effective in June of 2023. To learn about these laws, visit Workplace Fairness’ main page on pregnancy discrimination.

Select your state from the list below to learn what statutes it has regarding pregnancy discrimination in employment.

Select your state from this list.

Alabama

Alabama has no state law regarding pregnancy discrimination.

Alaska

Alaska human rights laws prohibit employment discrimination based on pregnancy. This applies to all employers regardless of how many employees they have. See the law for more information.

Pregnant workers can request a job transfer to a suitable position. Employers cannot fill a requested position with any other person unless the pregnant worker declines an offer to fill it themselves. Upon a transfer, pregnant workers must be paid at least the lesser of either the pay they originally received or the pay of the new position. See the law for more information.

Arizona

For employers with 15 or more employees, the Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. See the law for more information. 

Arkansas

Arkansas does not have a law prohibiting employers from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy and childbirth. Employers must provide unpaid breaks for employees to express breast milk when needed. See the law for more information. See the law for more information.

California

Employers with 5 or more employees must allow a reasonable time for leave – up to 4 months – for an employee who is disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. They also may not deny other reasonable accommodations. See the law for more information.

All employers are prohibited from harassing employees based on sex, which includes pregnancy for statutory purposes. See the law for more information. See this Department of Fair Housing and Employment document for more information. 

Colorado

As of 2016, Colorado law  prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy, physical recovery from childbirth, or a related condition. There is no employee minimum. This applies to all employers except for non-taxpayer-funded religious organizations. Employers also must provide reasonable accommodations for applicants or employees affected by pregnancy. See the law for more information.

Connecticut

All employers, regardless of size, are prohibited from discriminating because of pregnancy and from denying reasonable accommodation for pregnancy or a related medical condition.  See the law for more information.

Delaware

Employers with four or more employees are prohibited from discriminating because of pregnancy. They also may not deny reasonable accommodation for pregnancy or a related medical condition unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer. They also must post and maintain a notice of employees’ right to be from pregnancy discrimination. See the law for more information.

District of Columbia

The D.C. Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014 (PPWFA), requires all employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who request it due to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or a related medical condition. It is also illegal to discriminate based on pregnancy or related conditions. If an employee notifies their employer of their pregnancy or a related condition, the employer must give them notice of this law within 10 days.  

Florida

The Florida Civil Rights Act prohibits pregnancy discrimination. This applies to employers with at least 15 employees.

Georgia

Under Georgia law, only state employees are protected from pregnancy discrimination.

Hawaii

All employers, regardless of size, are prohibited from discriminating based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. They also must provide reasonable accommodation. See the law for more information.

Idaho

Under Idaho Administrative Code r. 15.04.01.243, pregnancy discrimination is prohibited. Pregnancy, child birth, and related
medical conditions are considered temporary disabilities. This applies to
employers with at least 5 employees. Employers of domestic workers are exempt.

Illinois

Regardless of size, employers may not discriminate based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. They also must provide reasonable accommodation. Employers must post and maintain notice of these laws in conspicuous locations and in employee handbooks if they have them. See the law for more information. See the state of Illinois website for more information. 

Indiana

require employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. They also prohibit retaliation in response to accommodation requests. See the law for more information.

Iowa

The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits employers with 4 or more employees from discriminating based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. If sufficient leave is not already available to an employee, an employee must allow them to take up to 8 weeks of leave for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Employers may require employees to provide medical certification to prove that they require leave as an accommodation. See the law for more information.

Kansas

Kansas prohibits employers from discrimination based on pregnancy. See the law for more information.

Kentucky

The Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act prohibits employers with 8 or more employees from discriminating based on pregnancy or a related medical condition. Employers with 15 or more employees must provide reasonable accommodation. See the law for more information.

Louisiana

Employers with more than 25 employees are subject to the following laws. They may not discriminate based on pregnancy, and they must provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition for up to four months. This may include accommodation for breastfeeding for up to one year after childbirth. However, employers do not have to provide more than 6 weeks of disability leave for a normal pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. Employers also must place notice of these laws in a conspicuous area where employees are likely to see it. See the law for more information.

Maine

The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, which includes pregnancy. They also must provide reasonable accommodation upon request for pregnancy and related medical conditions. See the law for more information.

Maryland

Employers with 15 or more employees cannot discriminate based on pregnancy and must provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy and related medical conditions. See the state of Maryland’s information sheet for more information.

Massachusetts

Employers with 6 or more employees may not discriminate based on pregnancy and must provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy and related medical conditions. They also must maintain written notice of these laws to all new employees, such as in an employee handbook. They also must provide written notice within 10 days to any employee who notifies them of their pregnancy or a related condition. See the law for more information.

Michigan

Under the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Michigan employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. Michigan law expressly states that its protection does not cover non therapeutic abortions that were performed for any reason other than to save the mother’s life. See the law for more information.

Minnesota

Minnesota prohibits pregnancy discrimination for all employers. Employers must also provide reasonable accommodations and inform employees of their rights. If they have an employee handbook, the handbook must include notice of these rights. See the law for more information.

Mississippi

Mississippi has no state law regarding pregnancy discrimination.

Missouri

Missouri has no state law regarding pregnancy discrimination.

Montana

The Montana Human Rights Act prohibits employers of all sizes from firing an employee or mandating them take unnecessary leave because of their pregnancy, and from denying a reasonable leave of absence for pregnancy. They also cannot deny a pregnant employee any compensation that they are due under their job’s policy for disability or leave benefits. Employers can require an employee to provide medical certification of their need for accommodation. Employees can file a discrimination complaint with the Montana Human Rights Bureau within 180 days of the alleged violation. See the law for more information.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act (NFEPA) applies to employers who have 15 or more employees. It prohibits employment discrimination based on pregnancy and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation upon request for pregnancy and related medical conditions. See the law for more information. 

Nevada

The Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees. It prohibits employment discrimination based on pregnancy and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation upon request for pregnancy and related medical conditions. Employers also must post and maintain notice of this law in a conspicuous area and must provide written notice to any employee who informs a supervisor that they are pregnant. See the law for more information.

New Hampshire

Regardless of size, all employers are prohibited from discrimination or harassment based on sex, which this statute defines as including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Employers cannot decline to grant a leave of absence or any other reasonable accommodation to a female employee who requests it due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. See the law for more information.

New Jersey

Regardless of size, all employers are prohibited from discriminating based on pregnancy and are required to provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy and related medical conditions. They also must display a copy of an official employment poster produced by the state government. See the law for more information. 

New Mexico

New Mexico’s Human Rights Act applies to employers with 4 or more employees. It prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation upon request for pregnancy and related medical conditions. See the law for more information.

New York

Employers with 4 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant workers or from denying their requests for reasonable accommodation, such as leave. Further, all employers subject to this law must keep notices of the New York Human Rights Law posted conspicuously where employees are likely to see them. See the law for more information.

North Carolina

North Carolina does not have a state law regarding pregnant workers generally. However, a 2018 executive order requires state agencies to provide “workplace adjustments” – akin to reasonable accommodations – to employees upon request for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. See the law for more information.

North Dakota

Regardless of size, all employers are prohibited from discriminating based on sex, which includes pregnancy. Employers also must provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. See the law for more information.

Ohio

All Ohio employers are prohibited from discriminating based on pregnancy or childbirth, which is considered sex discrimination under this law. Employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodation, which may include a reasonable amount of time for a leave of absence. The statute does not define how long of a break would be considered reasonable, so this is likely determined on a case-by-case basis. See the law for more information.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits employers of all sizes from discriminating based on sex, which this statute defines as including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. See the law for more information.

Oregon

Employers with six or more employees may not discriminate based on pregnancy and must provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. Employers must post and maintain notice of these laws. If an employee informs their employer of their pregnancy, the employer must notify the employee of these rights within 10 days. Employees may take up to 12 weeks of family leave and an additional 12 weeks of leave for pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition. See the state of Oregon website for more information.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania does not have a law prohibiting pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

Rhode Island

Employers with 4 or more employees may not discriminate based on pregnancy and must provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. They also must provide written notice of these rights to all employees. If an employee informs their employer of their pregnancy, the employer must notify the employee of these rights within 10 days. See the law for more information.

South Carolina

South Carolina prohibits employers from discriminating based on pregnancy and must they must provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. They also must post and maintain written notice of these rights in a conspicuous location where employees are likely to see it. See the South Carolina website for more information.

South Dakota

South Dakota has no state law regarding pregnancy discrimination.

Tennessee

The Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. It is illegal to take adverse action against an employee for requesting accommodation. See the law for more information. See the law for more information.

Texas

Texas law prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on sex, which includes pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. A separate law requires county and municipal employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers who a doctor determines to be “partially physically restricted” by pregnancy. See the law for more information. See the Texas Pregnancy Discrimination Guidebook for more information.

Utah

Under the Utah Antidiscrimination Act, employers with 15 or more employees cannot discriminate based on pregnancy and must provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy and related medical conditions. For accommodations other than more frequent bathroom and food breaks, employers may require employees to provide a doctor’s note recommending accommodation. Employers do not have to allow employees to bring their children to the workplace as accommodation. Employers must provide all employees with written notice of the right to reasonable accommodation for pregnancy and related conditions. See the law for more information.

Vermont

Regardless of size, employers must provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy-related conditions. Employers also must post notice of this law in a location where employees would likely see it. See the law for more information.

Virginia

The Virginia Pregnant Workers Fairness Act requires employers with 5 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. The employer also must post notice of this law in a conspicuous location and in any employee handbook. If an employee requests accommodation for pregnancy or a related condition, the employer must engage with them in a good faith discussion to determine the best accommodation. Noncompliance with this law can result in a jury and court awarding various damages and an injunction. See the law for more information. See this fact sheet from the Virginia Attorney General for more information.

Washington

Washington prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on pregnancy. Employers are also required to provide reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, and related health conditions. See the law for more information. See the law for more information.

West Virginia

West Virginia requires employers with 12 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation to employees for pregnancy and related medical conditions. Employers are only required to provide accommodation if an employee has documentation from a health care provider that specifies the employee’s limitations and suggests accommodations to address them. See the law for more information.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Fair Employment Law applies to all employers and prohibits discrimination, including denial of reasonable accommodation, based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. See the law for more information.

Wyoming

Wyoming prohibits employers with 2 or more employees from discriminating based on pregnancy.  See the law for more information.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.