Passage of HB 2045 reminds Arizona employers with 15 or more employees that they are barred from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy or childbirth.

The legislation, which Governor Ducey signed on February 4, aligns Arizona law with the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. HB 2045 was the first bill of the 2021 session signed by the Governor.

Among other changes, the law provides the following as part of A.R.S. § 41-1463, clarifying that existing statutory prohibitions on sex-based discrimination also preclude discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and childbirth:

G. Women who are affected by pregnancy or 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 […].

As a result of the law, Arizona employees can now file pregnancy discrimination complaints with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, as they would for other forms of discrimination (e.g., race, color, national origin, religion, age, genetic condition, or disability), and the Attorney General is authorized to investigate those charges.

The law imposes a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation.