Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a bill that prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on pregnancy or childbirth.

Amending the Arizona Civil Rights Act, the bill (House Bill 2045) defines discrimination “because of sex” and “on the basis of sex” to include discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The Arizona Civil Rights Act applies to employers who employ 15 or more employees, with the exception of sex harassment claims, which are viable against an employer with even one employee.

The Arizona Civil Rights Act amendment requires covered employers to treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same for all employment-related purposes as non-pregnant employees with similar limitations in their ability to work.

The amendment will likely have minimal impact on Arizona employers because this requirement aligns with federal law under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Americans with Disabilities Act, which already apply to most Arizona employers covered by the Arizona Civil Rights Act.

The amendment to the Arizona Civil Rights Act is expected to take effect on or about July 19, 2021.