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Pregnancy, and maternity and parental leave

The Alberta Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, including pregnancy and maternity. Denying or restricting employment opportunities in hiring, promotions, or transfers because of a woman's pregnancy contravenes the Act. Under the 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:

Additional resource on maternity and parental leave:


Revised: February 21, 2020 

Our vision is a vibrant and inclusive Alberta where the rich diversity of people is celebrated and respected, and where everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in society, free from discrimination.