Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Also known as: PDA
Signed into law by Jimmy Carter
October 31, 1978
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII to specifically include discrimination based on an employee’s pregnancy as an actionable claim of gender discrimination.
Enforcement & Remedies
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the first step in enforcing Title VII. An employee who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in violation of Title VII must first pursue his or her claims with the EEOC. After pursuing a Title VII claim with the EEOC, the employee may file a civil lawsuit against the employer. Remedies available to an employee who is discriminated against in violation of the Title VII include back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. Title VII sets caps on the amount of compensatory and punitive damages which vary by the size of the employer.