Many employees have the right to work free from discrimination based on pregnancy.  This applies to all aspects of employment such as compensation, promotions, work conditions, and terminations.

Examples of Discrimination

  • Termination or demotion following disclosure of pregnancy
  • Increased scrutiny or disciplinary action due to pregnancy
  • Encouraging an employee to quit because of pregnancy
  • Allowing an employee’s pregnancy to influence a promotional decision
  • Causing disruption or interference with work because of pregnancy
  • Reducing pay or denying raises for pregnant employees
  • Denying changes in duties while granting such for other temporarily disabled employees
  • Denying leave for medical appointments but granting such for non-pregnant employees


Many employers are also prohibited from harassing employees due to sex.  Harassment is unwelcome treatment that is severe or frequent enough to alter work conditions and create a demeaning atmosphere.

Examples of Harassment

  • Isolation, exclusion, or work interference
  • Undermining authority or span of control
  • Humiliation
  • Threats
  • Slurs or name-calling
  • Sharing derogatory or inappropriate images
  • Inappropriate jokes or gestures
  • Other mistreatment


Many employers are further prohibited from penalizing employees for complaining about or opposing discrimination against themselves or others.  For more information, see Retaliation page.

Other Protections that May Apply

  • Accommodations for employees disabled due to their pregnancy
  • Equal treatment as compared to nonpregnant employees
  • Leave for childbirth, adoption, or medical conditions (see FMLA)
  • Ability to express milk in the workplace

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Most employers with 15 or more employees are required to reasonably accommodate employees with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or associated medical conditions providing the accommodation does not create an undue hardship on the employer and the employee can perform the essential job duties with the accommodation.

Protect your Rights

The law sets firm deadlines for reporting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  For more information, see article on Pregnancy Discrimination.

If you’ve been subjected to discrimination, contact Rich Daugherty.  Whether your employment has been wrongfully terminated, you’re in fear of losing your job unlawfully, or you’re stuck in an untenable situation, contact Rich.

In addition to litigating cases, Rich negotiates confidential severance agreements and executive exit agreements favorable to his clients.

Rich offers a one-on-one relationship with his clients. He will stand by your side every step of the way to resolve your case fairly.

Rich represents clients from across North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and more. He is available to meet with prospective clients outside of Chapel Hill when circumstances permit. Evening appointments are also available.

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