By Jack Tuckner, Esq.
Nothing’s more important than your health, and the health of your unborn baby. But your employer may not feel that way.
To the company, your pregnancy is a bit of a pain in their ass. You have extra needs, you have additional doctors appointments, you may have morning sickness, you may have pregnancy-related medical problems, or pre-existing issues exacerbated by the pregnancy; you may need time to sit down at work, you may need time to express milk after your baby is born, when you get back from maternity leave. You may need, and you will need a maternity leave when your baby is born. Your employer sees all of this as against its bottom line – it’s not a profit-making enterprise, your baby making. And so, you may find that your employer pushes back on the notion of being flexible with you, caring about you, when you’re pregnant.
The good news is, they must care about you when you’re pregnant because the law requires a reasonable accommodation, so-called, of your pregnancy, and anything related to it, and to you as a woman with child. If you’re struggling with work-related, pregnancy related challenges while you’re working, just understand that it is illegal even if your employer doesn’t know it. And don’t give up, don’t despair. If you live outside of New York, you may want to consult with an employment lawyer – an employee-side, Plaintiff-side, employee rights lawyer, who’ll know your local jurisdiction’s rules, and will help empower you so that you can navigate these difficult times, teach your employer what it must do, and if the employer refuses to, you’ll be in a much stronger position to teach it a lesson, and to take care of yourself, and your unborn child, who will soon be born.
If you work in New York, feel free, or if you work anywhere and have any questions about your pregnancy-related issues, feel free to call us to call me – I’m Jack Tuckner; or to call Deborah O’Rell at our women’s rights in the workplace law firm based in New York, and in Upstate, New York. And we will consult with you free of charge to see if we can assist you. Remember, don’t give up, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, to coin a phrase. Document your pregnancy, tell your employer in writing that you’re pregnant, ask about its pregnancy policies. If you’re being treated poorly as a result of your pregnancy, put it in writing, complain about it, even if you don’t think that your employer will care – they may not, but you want to have a paper trail. Very important. This is what civil rights are all about, this is what it means to empower yourself and to change the workplace and change the world, so it is actually family values oriented, so that your employer actually has to express care towards you – as a female who is pregnant, and still trying to balance, having a life, and having a job.