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Pregnancy and temporary disability in the workplace

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2018 | Firm News

Working while pregnant may constitute a difficult situation. Pregnancy symptoms may leave you ill or unable to complete some necessary elements of your job. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ensures that you do not face discrimination in your workplace during your pregnancy, or your employer could face serious charges.

Further, the EEOC requires your employer to treat your pregnancy with respect and provide necessary accommodations for you if needed. Understand that if you do become pregnant while you have a job, the United States ensures that you receive fair treatment and are given necessary aid throughout your pregnancy journey.

Pregnancy as a temporary disability

Some women do not have the ability to stop working during their third trimester. Though you carry a child that will soon enter the world, you still need to perform your job’s necessary tasks.

If your pregnancy disallows you to continue working due to medical problems, your employer must treat your pregnancy with the same respect as a someone facing a temporary disability. Including altering your job requirements, the EEOC requires your employer to:

  • Give you light duty
  • Provide you with consistent breaks
  • Assign you to different tasks
  • Provide disability leave
  • Shift your goals or benchmarks
  • Offer leave without pay

Your employer most likely has a policy in place for situations involving pregnancy, but know that if you cannot complete your normal duties, you have the right to a change in tasks until you give birth. Just as an employer would give a disabled person different assignments after an injury or diagnosis, you deserve to receive the same treatment.

ADA protection during pregnancy

In addition to protection under the EEOC, pregnant women have protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you face a disabling medical condition due to your pregnancy, such as placement on bedrest, your employer must provide reasonable accommodations. Your employer could:

  • Assign you tasks that you can complete from home
  • Lower your weight limit on lifting
  • Modify seating arrangements to offer breaks

Companies should never view a pregnancy as a burden, and you should never feel the effects of discrimination when you work while pregnant. Multiple laws exist to protect you from facing illegal treatment from your employer, and laws conclude that your employer should provide you with accommodations to make your pregnancy experience positive at work.



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