Pregnant women often have little choice but to continue to work during their pregnancies. In fact, according to the National Women’s Law Center, there are roughly 2.8 million pregnant women in the workforce at any given time.
While some employers provide expansive benefits to pregnant workers, too many others discriminate against them. Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations is one of the more common types of pregnancy discrimination. So, what constitutes a reasonable accommodation for a pregnant worker?
Making work life a bit easier
Most pregnant workers are perfectly capable of doing their job duties, provided their employers offer some flexibility. What qualifies as a reasonable accommodation, though, likely depends on a number of factors, including industry and job duties. Nevertheless, the following accommodations are usually reasonable for most employers:
- Allowing pregnant workers to sit during their shifts
- Limiting the lifting of heavy objects
- Reworking job duties
- Permitting longer or more frequent breaks
- Allowing time off for medical appointments
Gathering evidence of illegal treatment
When dealing with pregnant workers, most employers must comply with both federal and state laws. If you believe your employer might not be treating you fairly, you should gather as much evidence as possible about the illegal treatment. This evidence may be useful if you must file a discrimination complaint or take other types of legal action against your employer.
You should have a right to work during your pregnancy without facing impermissible discrimination. Ultimately, if you can collect enough evidence about your employer’s refusal to provide you with reasonable accommodations, you might be able to save your job and your career.