Pregnancy Discrimination in Georgia FAQs

Does a person have to disclose they are pregnant to their employer in Georgia?

You do not legally have to reveal your pregnancy to your employer unless you are requesting leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or are requesting special accommodations for your condition such as light duties or additional breaks. To maintain good relations with an employer, however, many employees choose to notify their employer so they can develop a plan for the future.

Does an employer have to pay an employee during pregnancy leave in Georgia?

Employees who work for the Georgia state government are eligible for three weeks of paid parental leave, but this leave doesn’t become available until after the birth or placement of a child. If an employer provides paid leave for short-term disabilities, then federal law requires that employer to also provide the same benefit to employees taking pregnancy leave. In most cases, however, employees must purchase and opt into insurance coverage to receive payments during disability leave.

Are men eligible for pregnancy leave in Georgia?

Men who work for employers covered by the FMLA would be eligible for leave to care for a spouse who is suffering a disability due to pregnancy.

What are some examples of harassment based on pregnancy?

Making unwelcome jokes, posting offensive pictures, or calling someone names based on pregnancy would be examples of pregnancy harassment. However, harassment is just one form of illegal discrimination. Any time an employer takes an adverse action against an employee due to pregnancy, that action could be considered illegal discrimination. Failing to promote an employee or to offer training because an employer figures the employee will be too focused on the baby to perform well would be examples of illegal discrimination. Firing an employee or cutting hours due to pregnancy or expectations about pregnancy are also examples that are far too common.

Can my employer fire me if I become temporarily unable to do my job because I am pregnant in Georgia?

Employers are expected to treat pregnant employees the way they treat employees with a temporary disability. If they provide those employees with lighter duties or excuse them from activities that involve heavy lifting, they are expected to provide the same accommodations for pregnant employees.

If the employer is subject to federal employment laws, they may be required to provide leave for employees who are unable to perform essential job duties temporarily due to pregnancy.

Can my employer require me to provide a doctor’s note before giving me maternity leave in Georgia?

If you are planning to take family leave under the FMLA, then your employer can ask for a written medical explanation from your healthcare provider about the condition that requires you to take time off work.

Are males protected from discrimination if they become fathers?

Atlanta lawmakers have passed ordinances that provide specific protections for individuals based on their family and parental status. While federal and state provisions do not specifically protect parental status, male employees are protected by other discrimination laws in their roles as parents. Employers are expected to treat male employees with children the same way they treat female employees with children.

Is it illegal for a pregnant woman to discriminate against or harass someone with a similar medical condition in Georgia?

Yes. Illegal discrimination based on a medical condition remains illegal regardless of who practices that discrimination. Pregnant women are not entitled to special treatment—they are simply entitled to equal opportunities.

Is it illegal for someone to discriminate against or harass certain pregnant women, but not others in Georgia?

If harassment is based on pregnancy or another legally protected factor, it is illegal even if it is random. However, when an employer discriminates against some pregnant women but not others, it becomes difficult to prove that they have engaged in a pattern of discrimination.

Can an employer discriminate against unmarried women who become pregnant in Georgia?

Atlanta has ordinances that specifically prohibit discrimination on the basis of marital status. This statute may apply to some smaller employers that are not covered under federal laws. Although the federal laws do not reference marital status discrimination, the interpretations of the federal laws effectively prohibit discrimination based on marital status. Since pregnancy discrimination is prohibited as well, then an employer is not supposed to discriminate against unmarried women in Georgia who are pregnant.