Pregnant worker is absent a lot: Can I fire her?

Q. Is it a violation of the PDA to fire a pregnant employee for excessive absenteeism and lateness? — A.J.S., Georgia

A. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires that pregnant employees be treated the same as all other employees. It does not require employers to treat pregnancy-related absences more leniently than other absences. To avoid liability for pregnancy discrimination under the PDA, make sure you enforce your attendance policies in a fair and impartial manner without regard to an employee’s pregnancy.

If a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, the employer must treat her in the same way as it treats any other temporarily disabled employee. For example, the employer may have to provide light duty, alternative assignments, disability leave, or unpaid leave to pregnant employees if it does so for other temporarily disabled employees.