By Jack Tuckner, Esq.
The question is, does my employer have to give me time off away from work to see my OB/GYN when I’m pregnant? Hi, I’m Jack Tuckner again, a women’s rights in the workplace lawyer. This question is related to another recent question about travel restrictions when pregnant, and the answer falls into the same analysis, which is you need to see your OB when you are pregnant, because that’s part and parcel of being pregnant and following up on your challenges and having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy childbirth.
When you need to see your doctor, your employer must be flexible about that. It doesn’t mean that your employer needs to say, sure, take all the time you need in the middle of the day to see your doctor every other week. But if you have to, and you likely will need to visit your physician during regular business hours occasionally, or you may need additional tests, you may need to schedule an ultrasound during the work day, and it’s not that your employer can’t request that you get the work done or make up the time, but the employer needs to have a conversation with you and be flexible about that.
Why? Because you’re a woman and because you’re pregnant and you’re entitled to that flexibility. You’re entitled to a reasonable accommodation of your pregnancy. So, make sure that you don’t abuse it, of course. Try to have your appointments, if you can, before or after work, but when you must see your obstetrician, when you must have a lab test done during the work day, give your employer as much notice as possible. Ask them about it, work it out with them, and make sure to document all of this in writing, because otherwise, depending on how difficult they make it for you, that’s pregnancy discrimination, and that is illegal under federal or your own state’s anti-discrimination employment laws.
This is Jack Tuckner. I hope this has been helpful. If it was, please like this video above, and if you want to chat with me, please give me or Deborah O’Rell a call or send us an email in our New York City office and we’ll schedule a time to consult with you free of charge and in total confidence. Thank you.