Utah Employment Law Letter - August 2013: Sex Discrimination Unwelcome Labor Pains: Pregnancy Discrimination Under Title VII


When it was originally passed, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not prohibit pregnancy-related discrimination. That changed when the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was enacted as an amendment to Title VII in 1978. Unfortunately, female employees still struggle with perceived and real pregnancy discrimination. The issue can become complicated when the employee works in a position with physical requirements that may be unrealistic for a pregnant woman—for example, as a police officer. The city of Chandler, Oklahoma, recently ran into issues involving a pregnant police officer. Read on to see how it addressed them.

A foot injury and a pregnancy -

In January 2009, Sabrina Freppon began working as the only female police officer in Chandler’s sevenofficer police department. In June 2010, she injured her foot while she was off-duty. When she returned to work four weeks later, her doctor restricted her to “light-duty” work. The police chief, Matt Mattheyer, told her there was no light-duty work for her.

Originally published in the Utah Employment Law Letter - August 2013.

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