Unwanted Workload Reduction Due to Pregnancy

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You Have a Right to Work as Much and Often as You Want While Pregnant.

As a pregnant woman, you have the right to work as much as you feel you can handle. Many employers will try to force you to take a workload reduction because you are pregnant. They will ignore your protests that you can work full-time and take on a full schedule even while pregnant. They will force an accommodation on you that you do not want and did not ask for. Doing so is a form of pregnancy discrimination and is illegal.

If your employer forces an unwanted workload reduction on you because of your pregnancy, you have a right to fight back. You have the right to seek justice. You need an employment discrimination attorney that will help you fight for your right to work.

What Is an Unwanted Workload Reduction Due to Being Pregnant?

As a pregnant woman, you (with your doctor) are the only person allowed to determine what restrictions are necessary during your pregnancy. When your employer decides to make that decision for you, he is infringing on your rights and violating the law. Forcing you to do any of the following would be examples of reducing your workload against your wishes:
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  • Your employer reduces your hours to under 30 hours a week.
  • Your boss reduces the number of projects assigned to you.
  • Your supervisor changes your shift to an “easier” shift.
  • Your manager limits the amount of time you can stand throughout the day.
  • Your boss moves you to a desk position.
  • Your supervisor refuses to allow you to drive to a client meeting.
  • Your employer demotes you to a less active position while pregnant.
  • Your employer reduces the number of employees under your supervision.

Do Pregnant Workers Have the Same Rights and Temporarily Disabled Workers?

Pregnant employees deserve the same rights afforded to temporarily disabled employees. Pregnancy is a temporary medical condition. As a result, the needs are temporary and should be the same as an employee with a temporary disability. Some of these rights include a modified work schedule, paid or unpaid medical leave, modified responsibilities, and workspace accommodations.

In the same vein, temporarily disabled employees cannot be forced to take a reduction in their workload. Therefore, pregnant employees cannot be forced to take a reduced workload.

Company Policies Can Discrimination Against Pregnant Employees

An employer’s policy and procedures should state how it handles employees with temporary disabilities. The law must follow disability laws by providing accommodations. However, if accommodations are crippling to a business, policies should require employers to find another reasonable accommodation to help disabled employees.

Employers must use these same policies and procedures to accommodate pregnant employees. As long as a pregnant employee can still work, she must be allowed to work. She also must be provided the accommodations to help her to continue her job. The only modifications that employers should provide are the ones she requests. No policy can or should insist you take an accommodation you (or your doctor) did not request.

What Laws Protect Pregnant Employees from Being Forced to Accept a Reduced Workload?

Several laws protect pregnant employees from any form of discrimination. The laws prohibit employers and their staff from making negative employment decisions against employees based on pregnancy. The laws prohibit employers from enforcing a reduced workload for pregnant employees. They also prevent employers from any form of retaliation based on your pregnancy, including wrongful termination, demotions, denied promotions, and more.

Pregnancy Discrimination

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects pregnant employees from employers, CEOs, supervisors, managers, co-workers, clients, customers, and non-employees making unfair employment decisions or harassing employees based on pregnancy. These decisions include forcing an employee to take a reduced workload during pregnancy, after childbirth, or after she returns from maternity leave.

Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled employees from unfair employment decisions and harassment based on their disabilities. It also mandates employers make accommodations for employees as needed. If a pregnant woman has an issue with her pregnancy, that is considered a disability. Disability laws will protect her from discrimination in the workplace.

State-Wide Pregnancy Laws

Many states have laws protecting pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace as well.

  1. New York enacted the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. This act insists employers make necessary accommodations for pregnant workers. It also prohibits employers from forcing a pregnant employee to take a forced workload reduction or forced unpaid medical leave.
  2. The New Jersey Prohibition Against Pregnancy Discrimination prohibits employers from using pregnancy as a reason to make any employment decisions. These decisions include forcing a pregnant employee to take a reduced workload.
  3. New Jersey’s Pregnancy Accommodation and Pregnancy-Related Disability Accommodation Act insist employers provide proper accommodations for pregnant employees. Employers cannot retaliate against an employee who requests these accommodations.
  4. The Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance includes a Pregnancy Accommodation Amendment. This amendment mandates employers in the city must make accommodations for pregnant employees as requested.
  5. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their pregnancy.

When Can an Employer Deny Proper Accommodations to Pregnant Employees?

Some employers have the right to deny accommodations to employees because they place too much stress on the company. This excessive stress on the company is called an undue hardship, which means the accommodation is not something the employer can financially or physically support. If an undue hardship occurs, preventing an employer from providing an accommodation, the employer must find another accommodation to help the pregnant employee.
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Under no circumstances can an employer force a pregnant employee to take a reduction in workload.

How Do Victims of Pregnancy Discrimination at Work File a Complaint?

If your employer is forcing you to take a reduced workload due to pregnancy, you can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days. The EEOC accepts charges of discrimination that violate federal laws.

If you want to file your claim in state court, discuss your case with a dedicated pregnancy discrimination lawyer. They can help you determine the best state laws to file your case under, where to file your claim, and the time limit the law provides to ensure your case has its day in court.

What Compensation Is Available for Pregnant Employees Forced into a Reduced Workload?

When you get forced to take a reduced workload because of pregnancy, you have a right to compensation. You may request your employer to reinstate your job and your benefits. You may request that your employer changes their company policy that forces pregnant women to take a reduced workload. You may also ask for financial relief for lost wages, medical expenses, legal costs and fees, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Speak with an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about your available remedies.

Can an Employment Discrimination Lawyer Help Your Pregnancy Discrimination Claim?

An employment discrimination lawyer can help you file your claim for pregnancy discrimination with the appropriate court or agency within the statute of limitations set by federal or state laws. Your attorney will advise you on your pregnancy discrimination claim. They can help you draft your complaint and begin your legal process as quickly as possible.

Additionally, your pregnancy discrimination lawyer will begin negotiating a settlement with your employer from the moment you decide to file a complaint. They will work with you to reach a fair settlement with your employer as quickly as possible. Yet, if your employer refuses to negotiate with you, your attorney will work with you as your advocate until your case reaches the end of the trial and receives a court judgment.

Contact Our Experienced Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys for Your Free Consultation

Pregnant employees have the right to work as they see fit. An employer does not have the right to force her to accept a reduced workload for any reason. If you are the victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, the experienced pregnancy discrimination attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help.

Did Your Employer Force a Reduced Workload on You Because of Pregnancy? Do You Want to Know More About Your Rights? Please Call Us at 800.807.2209 or Email derek@dereksmithlaw.com to Learn More About Your Rights.

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