Pregnancy Discrimination Act Includes Abortions

The 3rd Circuit federal court of appeals held that Title VII, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, including pregnant women who have abortions.  The Court noted that the EEOC had taken the position that under the PDA, "[a] woman is … protected against such practices as being fired … merely because she is pregnant or has had an abortion." Based upon its review of the statutory language of the PDA, the legislative history and EEOC guidelines, the Third Circuit in Doe determined that the PDA's "related medical conditions" includes having an abortion.  Thus, the Court reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a wrongful discharge/discrimination suit by a female who was fired for alleged job abandonment three working days after she notified her employer that she needed to undergo a surgical abortion.  Doe v. C.A.R.S. Protection Plus, Inc., No. 06-3625 (3d Cir. 2008).

For additional information on this topic, please contact Douglas S. Zucker at dsz@zuckerhatfield.com or Kathryn V. Hatfield at  kvh@zuckerhatfield.com .