MacDonald Hoague & Bayless attorneys advocate for pregnant workers and new parents who have been treated unfairly, harassed at work, wrongfully terminated, or denied accommodations or parental leave.

There are many employment laws that protect workers during pregnancy, after childbirth, and after taking parental leave.  For example, most employees have the following legal rights:

  • Rights During Pregnancy:  to be free from discriminatory employment decisions, be free from harassment, to receive workplace accommodations (if needed), to take leave for pregnancy-related sickness, and to go to prenatal appointments. 
  • Rights After Childbirth:  to take leave from work to recover from childbirth, to take leave from work to bond with a new baby, and to receive continued benefits during leave. 
  • Rights After Parental Leave:  to be restored to the same or similar job, to be free from discrimination and harassment, and to take breaks to express milk in a private location. 

MHB attorneys regularly help pregnant workers understand their rights, which can depend on the size of the employer, length of employment, and other circumstances.  We also help clients obtain compensation and file lawsuits, as necessary, to hold employers accountable when they violate the law.

We are dedicated to preventing pregnancy discrimination and strengthening the rights of pregnant workers.  Our lawyers helped pass Washington’s Healthy Starts Act in 2017, which strengthened the rights of pregnant workers to receive workplace accommodations as needed.  Our lawyers also serve on the Board of Directors for Legal Voice and the American Civil Liberties Union, and have worked with those organizations on issues relating to pregnant worker’s rights, medical leave, sexual harassment, and other issues affecting families.   

Some of our recent victories in this area include:

  • A $415,000 jury verdict against a large private ambulance company that discriminated against our client, a paramedic, when she became pregnant and allowed its employees to harass her for pumping breastmilk;
  • A jury verdict in favor of our client, a naturopathic doctor, who was denied a promotion because she was pregnant.

You can find answers to frequently asked questions about pregnancy discrimination, accommodations, maternity leave, medical leave, benefits, and pumping, here: Pregnancy Discrimination Q&A

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