Under both state and federal law, Texas employees are protected from discrimination based on pregnancy and pregnancy-related illnesses; however, that was not always the case.
Originally, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin was not interpreted by the courts to include protection for pregnancy and related medical conditions. During this time, employers were able to make decisions based on the fact an employee was pregnant. It was not until over a decade later, with the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) that pregnancy was covered. Since the passage of the PDA, discrimination based “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” has been prohibited because it is considered to be discrimination based on a person’s sex.
Under the PDA, women who are pregnant or are suffering from pregnancy-related illnesses cannot be discriminated against. Common pregnancy-related illnesses include: