Women have historically had a hard time when it comes to employment rights. One of the reasons is that they can get pregnant and their employer may feel like it isn’t worth it for a woman to work there. This is an illegal mentality, of course, but it goes to show that women can be easily discriminated against. What happens when you are actually pregnant then?
Luckily, you do have rights as a pregnant woman and have protection if you ever need to contact a lawyer. The problem is that many women don’t know or understand their rights as pregnant women. As a result, there are often things that employers get away with that they shouldn’t. To make sure that you are taking advantage of the various protections offered, you need to know about them.
1 – Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Whether you are pregnant or not, everybody has the right to take up to three months off from work to care for their health or that of a loved one. Unfortunately, this time off is not paid but you are guaranteed to be able to get your job back after the time is expired. This law is very helpful when you’re pregnant since you will need time off to give birth and have some time to take care of your newborn.
Some employers will try to deny this leave and instead try to let you go if you take it. If you were to be denied the time off, the reason is usually that they hope you will quit and they won’t have to deal with it. This is illegal and any employment lawyer such as HKM would love to take this case on.
As long as you know that this is your right, then there isn’t much they can do about it so make sure you’re covered.
2 – Reasonable accommodations
Since you will have some issues with things like mobility, or fatigue, you will need to have certain concessions made for you. As long as the requests are reasonable, your employer has to honor them. If not, then you could make a claim that you are being discriminated against.
Some reasonable requests would be something like asking for more frequent breaks during the day so you can rest. Without these extra breaks, you may not make it through the day. Another request that can easily be met is to have your desk moved closer to the bathroom.
3 – The right to be hired
If your qualifications are good and you would ordinarily be a great candidate for the job, you should still have the expectation to be hired even if you are pregnant. You can’t be denied the chance to work somewhere just because you will need to take some time off to give birth eventually.
It’s not easy to prove, but if you do get some kind of indication from the HR department that this is the reason then you can make a claim.