Employment decisions based on such stereotypes or assumptions violate Title VII.
However, even if the employee did not inform the decision makers about her pregnancy before they undertook the adverse action, they nevertheless might have been aware of it through, for example, office gossip or because the pregnancy was obvious.
Since the obviousness of pregnancy "varies, both temporally and as between different affected individuals," When Germaine learned she was pregnant, she decided not to inform management at that time because of concern that such an announcement would affect her chances of receiving a bonus at the upcoming anniversary of her employment.
The majority of charges include allegations of discharge based on pregnancy.
Other charges include allegations of disparate terms and conditions of employment based on pregnancy, such as closer scrutiny and harsher discipline than that administered to non-pregnant employees, suspensions pending receipt of medical releases, medical examinations that are not job related or consistent with business necessity, and forced leave.
Thus, the PDA extended to pregnancy Title VII's goals of "'[achieving] equality of employment opportunities and remov[ing] barriers that have operated in the past to favor an identifiable group of . In the years since the PDA was enacted, charges alleging pregnancy discrimination have increased substantially.
In fiscal year (FY) 1997, more than 3,900 such charges were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies, but in FY 2013, 5,342 charges were filed.
In 2008, a study by the National Partnership for Women & Families found that pregnancy discrimination complaints have risen at a faster rate than the steady influx of women into the workplace.
Moreover, the study found that much of the increase in these complaints has been fueled by an increase in charges filed by women of color.
Adverse treatment of pregnant women often arises from stereotypes and assumptions about their job capabilities and commitment to the job.
For example, an employer might refuse to hire a pregnant woman based on an assumption that she will have attendance problems or leave her job after the child is born.
Specifically, pregnancy discrimination claims filed by women of color increased by 76% from FY 1996 to FY 2005, while pregnancy discrimination claims overall increased 25% during the same time period.