Protection For Pregant Women: What You Need To Know

If you are pregnant and you work, it is important that you are aware of your rights with regard to your employment. Pregnancy discrimination can happen to any expecting woman in the workplace. Discrimination can come in the form or reduced work hours, removal from your standard job functions, or demotion. The following is important information all women who plan to have children need to be aware of.

Legal Protection For Pregnant Women

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was created to protect pregnant women from being discriminated against in the workplace. It has many commonalities with the gender discrimination laws. The pregnancy discrimination laws say that an employer cannot treat one employee in a different way than any other employee in the workplace, male or female.

Special Considerations

One thing to know is that it is against the law for a potential employer to not consider a pregnant woman for a job or promotion solely due to her medical condition. Women with the proper qualifications have a right to be considered just like anyone else. The employer should explain all essential functions of the job so that all who apply are fully aware of the requirements needed for the position. If the employer has made an expectant mother aware of all of the requirements for the job, there are no special protections in place for her.

For instance, if the primary job function includes lifting and bending at the waist for the majority of the day, she cannot later say that she is unable to work due to the job and expect to keep her job. An employer does have the right to place her in a different position so that she can continue to work and earn a paycheck, but that is up to the employer's discretion. Keep this in mind if you intend to apply for a job that has significant physical demands.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is another hot button topic with regard to expectant mothers. An employer may not require a woman to provide more notice for her maternity leave than anyone else needing any form of medical leave. If an employer gives a warning to a pregnant woman because she did not provide a certain amount of notification before maternity leave, he or she is not allowed to discipline her for that. However, it is ideal to have a discussion about maternity leave well before delivery to ensure all preparations are in order.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy, then contact a law office like Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C. for help.