Arizona Expands Pregnant Employees Work Protections

Arizona businesses are now expressly prohibited by point out law from discriminating from employees on the foundation of being pregnant or childbirth. On January 28, 2021, the Arizona Legislature passed, and on Thursday, February 4, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into legislation, HB 2045, which amends the state civil rights statute to explain that existing statutory prohibitions on sex-centered discrimination also preclude discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and childbirth. Accordingly, Arizona results in being the 28th state to preclude being pregnant discrimination expressly below condition law.

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 41-1461, et seq. already prohibits discrimination by included employers (i.e., employers that use fifteen (15) or more staff members) “because of sex” or “on the basis of sex.” Subsequent the passage of HB 2045, the Arizona Civil Rights Act (ACRA) – Arizona’s condition civil legal rights statute – now expressly states that its prohibition on discrimination “because of sex” and “on the basis of sex” consists of discrimination “because of or on the foundation of being pregnant or childbirth or related health care problems.” The ACRA also now expressly offers that “[w]omen who are affected by pregnancy or childbirth or associated clinical situations shall be addressed the very same for all employment-relevant reasons, including receipt of positive aspects underneath fringe gain plans, as other individuals not so afflicted but similar in their means or inability to function[.]”

Arizona companies issue to the ACRA probably already prohibit pregnancy-based mostly discrimination in their work insurance policies and in exercise due to the fact, as employers with 15 or far more workers, they currently are issue to the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which expressly prohibits discrimination on the foundation of pregnancy, childbirth, and connected medical situations. In addition to mirroring federal law substantively, the ACRA’s expansion permits the Arizona Civil Rights Division (ACRD), the condition civil legal rights company performing less than the auspices of the state Lawyer Typical, to look into rates of pregnancy discrimination, which the company beforehand lacked jurisdiction to do. Now, Arizona personnel can file rates of being pregnant discrimination just as they would file a cost of discrimination for any of the other reasons set forth in the civil rights statute (e.g., race, color, national origin, faith, age, genetic problem, or incapacity) and go after point out regulation civil steps alleging pregnancy discrimination on completion of the ACRD’s investigation. Notwithstanding this enlargement, personnel even now retain the suitable to file a cost with the US Equal Work Prospect Commission (EEOC) beneath the parallel federal law. This statutory advancement just presents an additional avenue for investigation and resolution of being pregnant-linked discrimination allegations less than Arizona regulation.

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National Legislation Review, Volume XI, Selection 39