Pregnancy, and maternity and parental leave
The Alberta Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, including pregnancy and maternity leave. Denying or restricting employment opportunities in hiring, promotions or transfers because of a woman's pregnancy contravenes the AHR Act. Under the AHR Act, it would be discrimination to:
- deny a woman a job because she is of childbearing age
- limit or withhold employment opportunities or training because of pregnancy
- not assign a female employee to a project because she is pregnant
- deduct time off work for using the washroom frequently
- terminate the employment of a female employee because she is pregnant or is absent for health-related reasons due to pregnancy
- fail to accommodate work restrictions that arise due to pregnancy
- deny sick leave benefits to a pregnant employee
- make a pregnant employee the subject of offensive, inappropriate comments or jokes
- arbitrarily require a pregnant employee to take a leave of absence
Pregnancy may impact a woman's health. Human rights law requires that employers accommodate, to the point of undue hardship, the health-related consequences of pregnancy.
For comprehensive information related to pregnancy in the workplace and maternity and parental leave, see:
- Becoming a Parent in Alberta: What you need to know about human rights, maternity and parental leave, and benefits
- the Commission information sheet Pregnancy and Maternity Leave
- the Commission interpretive bulletin Rights and Responsibilities related to Pregnancy, Childbirth and Adoption
Revised: December 16, 2009
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