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Pregnant woman at work

Sex Discrimination - Pregnancy

Your Rights Sex & Pregnancy

Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, sex is a protected class, and it is illegal for employers to treat women differently on the basis of their gender and on the basis of their capacity to become pregnant.   

Additionally, sexual harassment is considered sex discrimination under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, as is treating an employee adversely because of pregnancy.

It is illegal for an employer to do the following on the basis of an individual’s capacity to become pregnant:

  • Take an adverse action against the individual,
  • Treat the individual differently than individuals similar in ability/inability to work,
  • Harass the individual, or
  • Utilize a policy that has a disparate impact on such individuals 

Minnesota 2014 Women's Economic Security Act

MDHR outlined the 2014 WESA law in a press release. 

  • Pregnancy Accommodations and Familial Status Protections
  • Pregnancy leave and nursing mothers
  • Equal pay laws to close gender pay gap
  • Sick and safe leave
  • Workforce recruitment and training
  • Retirement security

EEOC Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination & Related Issues

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination, which includes:

More Information

Pregnancy and familial status under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. MDHR Staff provided this presentation in 2014 on Enforcement under Minn. Stat. 363A in light of WESA, please contact MDHR for more information.

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