Congratulations! You just got the news that you are having a new baby. You are probably thinking about all sorts of things including the cute new baby clothes you are going to buy, the safety changes you are going to have to make to your home, or telling your exciting news to all your family and friends. In all this excitement, you shouldn’t be worried about losing your job because you are pregnant. There are laws to protect you from that. Our lawyers in Camden County are here to help put your mind at ease by giving you an overview of the legal rights you have as a pregnant worker in the United States. There is a great article on the EEOC website that answers a few frequently asked questions on this subject.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
If my employer knows that I am pregnant or may become pregnant, could I get fired?
Under the PDA, employers are not allowed to discriminate against you based on the fact that:
- you are pregnant
- you were pregnant
- you could become pregnant, or intend to become pregnant
- you have a medical condition that is related to pregnancy
- you had an abortion, or are considering having an abortion
In general, this means that you cannot be fired, rejected for a job or promotion, given lesser assignments, or forced to take leave for any of these reasons. An employer does not have to keep you in a job that you are unable to do or in which you would pose a significant safety risk for others in the workplace. However, your employer cannot remove you from your job or place you on leave because it believes that work would pose a risk to you or your pregnancy.
What if I am being harassed because of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related medical condition?
Harassment based on pregnancy or a pregnancy-related medical condition is not allowed under the PDA and ADA. You should tell your employer about any harassment if you want the employer to stop the problem. Follow your employer’s reporting procedures if there are any. If you report the harassment, your employer is legally required to take action to prevent it from occurring in the future.
What if I am having difficulty doing my job because of pregnancy or a medical condition related to my pregnancy?
You may be able to get an accommodation from the employer that will allow you to do your regular job safely.” Examples include altered break and work schedules (e.g., breaks to rest or use the restroom), permission to sit or stand, ergonomic office furniture, shift changes, elimination of marginal job functions, and permission to work from home.
You may be able to get an accommodation under the PDA if your employer gives accommodations to employees who have limitations that are similar to yours, but were not caused by pregnancy.
You may be able to get an accommodation under the ADA if you have a pregnancy-related medical condition such as cervical insufficiency, anemia, sciatica, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or depression, that meets the ADA definition of “disability.” A condition meets the definition if it would, when left untreated, “substantially limit” one or more major life activities (e.g., lifting, standing, sitting, walking, reaching, bending, eating, sleeping, or concentrating) or major bodily functions (e.g., digestive, genitourinary, bowel, bladder, neurological, circulatory, or cardiovascular functions). A condition does not have to be permanent or severe, or result in a high degree of functional limitation, to be “substantially limiting.” It may qualify by, for example, making activities more difficult, uncomfortable, or time-consuming to perform compared to the way that most people perform them. If your symptoms come and go, what matters is how limiting they would be when present.
You don’t need to have a particular accommodation in mind before you ask for one, though you can ask for something specific. However, you should know that the ADA doesn’t require your employer to make changes that involve significant difficulty or expense. Also, if more than one accommodation would work, the employer can choose which one to give you.
Do You Feel Like You Have Been Discriminated Against in the Workplace Because You Are Pregnant?
If so, you are not alone. Hire a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks that who afraid to fight for your rights. Deputy & Mizell offers quality legal representation, no matter what type of legal issue you are facing. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC to schedule your private (FREE) consultation today.
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