Whether you are considering having a child, already pregnant or about to welcome a new life into the world, you may have deep concerns about how pregnancy and birth will impact your job.
From dealing with new physical challenges during pregnancy to taking time off work to recover and provide early care, you may worry that you will have to choose between financial security and the needs of your family.
1. How does the law protect women during pregnancy?
Pregnancy may temporarily limit your ability to perform certain tasks, especially if you experience complications. If your company has a certain minimum number of employees, your employer may need to accommodate this temporary disability under the ADA by providing lighter duty, a modified schedule and/or other adjustments to your usual tasks.
2. What types of parental leave are available?
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act may also allow you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for and bond with your child after he or she is born. However, you may have to show that you have worked a certain number of hours for your employer within the past year to be eligible.
3. Are there protections against pregnancy discrimination?
You may find that medical issues related to your pregnancy invite unwelcome or aggressive comments or behavior by supervisors, coworkers or even customers. If such behavior is frequent or severe enough to create a hostile work environment, you may be able to seek protection under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Unfortunately, despite these laws, many employers do not fully understand their obligations and your rights. If pregnancy or childbirth has endangered your job or career, know that you may be able to pursue legal action.