Pregnancy Accommodations in the Workplace
Dedicated Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys Helping You Get the Accommodations You Are Entitled to Receive.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits employers from discriminating against or harassing employees due to pregnancy. However, it also requires employers to provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodations to continue working while pregnant.
If your employer denies you reasonable accommodations for your pregnancy, you have the right to compensation. You have the right to work with an attorney that will stand by your side and fight for your rights, even when you are fired from work, demoted, or suspended instead of provided the accommodations you need.
What Rights Do Pregnant Employees Have at Work?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides protections to pregnant employees in the workplace. These protections are provided under the amendment known as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. This act prohibits employers from making negative employment decisions based on pregnancy. It also provides the right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace for all pregnant employees.
What Are Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Employees in the Workplace?
Reasonable accommodations are any changes to the work environment that help a pregnant employee perform her job functions. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires all employers with at least 15 employees to provide these accommodations unless they can prove undue hardship.
Pregnancy accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- Modified work schedule
- Extra breaks as needed
- Seating available for employees who typically stand all-day.
- Shift changes
- Reduction of hours
- Time off for required doctor’s appointments
- Allowing pregnant employees to keep food or water with them while working.
- Moving pregnant employees to a vacant position
- Reduced lifting and other physical activities as needed.
- The option to work from home if possible.
How Many Hours a Day Should a Pregnant Woman Work?
There is no set amount of time a pregnant woman should work in the day. However, women who typically work extended shifts lasting more than eight hours may need an adjustment. She may only be able to handle an eight-hour day on her feet while pregnant.
If it is not possible for a pregnant employee to shorten her workday, she may require more breaks. She may also require the ability to sit more often during the day. She may also find she does better at certain times of the day. Therefore, she may need an adjusted work schedule to accommodate the hours she can handle working.
How Long Should a Pregnant Woman Stand at Work?
There is no set amount of time a pregnant woman should or should not stand throughout the workday. Some people believe standing eight hours a day may be too much for the fetus. However, the proof is inconclusive.
Nonetheless, a pregnant woman should stand for as long as she feels comfortable. If she cannot stand for an entire day, accommodations should be made. These accommodations should allow her to continue to work while seated or with breaks throughout the day.
Can You Request Time Off as an Accommodation for Pregnancy Complications?
Some women experience complications during pregnancy. They may feel sick often or even require bed rest. In these situations, pregnant women may require time off from work. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, some employees may qualify for unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks.
The PDA and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) may also provide the right to take time off as a reasonable accommodation. If your employer cannot provide you time off due to good reasoning, they may supply other accommodations, such as the right to work from home.
If you get fired from work or face other forms of retaliation at work instead of appropriately accommodated, you should contact a pregnancy discrimination lawyer to discuss your rights.
Can a Pregnant Woman Get Fired from Work for Absences Due to Prenatal Doctor’s Appointments?
Pregnancy accommodations include time off for prenatal care, such as doctor’s appointments. Therefore, unless an employer can prove this accommodation would cause an undue hardship, he cannot fire a pregnant employee for attending prenatal appointments.
What Are Undue Hardships Due to Providing Pregnancy Accommodations?
An employer may deny pregnancy accommodations to pregnant employees if they cause undue hardships. Undue hardships mean the accommodation would create a severe financial or operational concern for the company.
Undue hardships are determined on a case-by-case basis. If an accommodation causes undue hardships, it is up to the employer to find an alternate accommodation that would help the employee and relieve the employer’s hardship.
Undue hardships are the result of the following factors:
- The financial resources of the organization
- The nature and cost of the accommodation
- The financial resources, size number of the employer, and type of employer facility
- The employer operation type
- How the accommodation will affect operations
What Happens If an Employer Denies Reasonable Accommodations to Pregnant Employees?
If your employer denies your request for reasonable accommodations without proving undue hardship, you have rights. You may file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 and 300 days of the incident, depending on your state.
The EEOC will investigate your charge. If they find evidence of a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, they will issue a Right to Sue letter. This letter allows you to file a complaint in federal court within 90 days.
Many states also insist employers provide accommodations to pregnant employees. The statute of limitations (time frame) to file your claim under state laws depends on your state. Contact a pregnancy discrimination attorney to determine the time frame to file your claim and which laws are best suited for your charge.
What Remedies Are Available to Pregnant Employees for Accommodation Refusals.
If you win your lawsuit against your employer regarding pregnancy accommodations, the court may offer the following compensation and relief:
- Reinstatement of your job
- Implementing valid accommodations
- Reimbursement of medical expenses
- Attorney’s fees and costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
Contact Our Compassionate Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys for Your Free Consultation
You have a right to reasonable accommodations for your pregnancy. Denying you these rights violates employment laws.
If you are denied reasonable pregnancy accommodations at your workplace, the dedicated pregnancy discrimination lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group can help.
Did Your Boss Deny You Reasonable Pregnancy Accommodations? Did You Get Fired from Work or Suspended Due to Your Pregnancy? Please Contact Us at 800.807.2209 or [email protected] for Help.