Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

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An Act
To amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 701 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:
"(k) The terms 'because of sex' or 'on the basis of sex' include, but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, and nothing in section 703(h) of this title shall be interpreted to permit otherwise. This subsection shall not require an employer to pay for health insurance benefits for abortion, except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or except where medical complications have arisen from an abortion: Provided, That nothing herein shall preclude an employer from providing abortion benefits or otherwise affect bargaining agreements in regard to abortion.".
SEC. 2. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), the amendment made by this Act shall be effective on the date of enactment.
(b) The provisions of the amendment made by the first section of this Act shall not apply to any fringe benefit program or fund, or insurance program which is in effect on the date of enactment of this Act until 180 days after enactment of this Act.
SEC. 3. Until the expiration of a period of one year from the date of enactment of this Act or, if there is an applicable collective-bargaining agreement in effect on the date of enactment of this Act, until the termination of that agreement, no person who, on the date of enactment of this Act is providing either by direct payment or by making contributions to a fringe benefit fund or insurance program, benefits in violation with this Act shall, in order to come into compliance with this Act, reduce the benefits or the compensation provided any employee on the date of enactment of this Act, either directly or by failing to provide sufficient contributions to a fringe benefit fund or insurance program: Provided, That where the costs of such benefits on the date of enactment of this Act are apportioned between employers and employees, the payments or contributions required to comply with this Act may be made by employers and employees in the same proportion: And provided further, That nothing in this section shall prevent the readjustment of benefits or compensation for reasons unrelated to compliance with this Act.
Approved October 31, 1978.

Legislative History[edit]

    • No. 95-948 accompanying H.R. 6075 (Comm. on Education and Labor) and No. 95-1786 (Comm. of Conference).
    • No. 95-331 (Comm. on Human Resources).
    • Vol. 123 (1977):
      • Sept. 15, 16, considered and passed Senate.
    • Vol. 124 (1978):
      • July 18, H.R. 6075 considered and passed House; proceedings vacated and S. 995, amended, passed in lieu.
      • Oct. 13, Senate agreed to conference report.
      • Oct. 15, House agreed to conference report.
    • Vol. 14, No. 44 (1978): Oct. 31, Presidential statement.