There are many companies out there that understand that their employee’s wellness is important and want to take care of them. Unfortunately, there are also others that want to restrict the rights of their employees to be able to work in safety and to make sure they are able to take care of their own health.
This can lead to a situation in which an employer refuses to provide pregnancy leave. This is not only wrong and unethical, but it is also against the law. Too many pregnant women are not aware of what their rights are and can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers. In this article, we will go over what those rights are so you can protect yourself as a pregnant woman.
1 – Family and Medical Leave Act
It is the law of the land that everybody is allowed to take up to 12 weeks off from work that is unpaid to take care of themselves or a family member who is sick. Being pregnant falls under this law so when you give birth you are allowed to take up to three months off to take care of your baby without the risk of losing your job.
Your job is secure no matter what point of the pregnancy you are at. If you have some complications that require you to stay in bed for the remaining weeks of the pregnancy, then you’re free to start your time off then.
Some unethical employers will try to get the pregnant woman to quit so they can replace her with somebody else and circumvent the three-month leave that they are entitled to. This is also illegal and can land the company in hot water.
The FMLA is limited to companies of a certain size and other factors so make sure to look into whether your situation is covered or not.
2 – Reasonable accommodations
Your ability to do the job well may be impacted by your pregnancy but with some minor accommodations, you can still perform. This means that your boss will need to find a way to give you what you need to continue to work while pregnant.
Where possible, they should be able to adjust your schedule so you are able to take the time needed to get to work and to be able to see the doctor. Or, you could ask for more breaks during the work day so you can get rest and not over-exert yourself.
3 – Retaliation
If your employer is unethical then expect to get some resistance in order to get you to quit. They will retaliate when you tell them you are pregnant and make work difficult for you.
This is illegal and can land them in hot water if you press forward with a claim. An example would be if you had always had high-performance reviews but then suddenly after you’ve revealed you are pregnant suddenly start getting negative ones.