Can I Refuse to Travel if I’m Pregnant?

The question is, can I refuse to travel when I’m pregnant?

Hi, I’m Jack Tuckner, a Women’s Rights in the Workplace lawyer based in New York. And the answer to that question is no, you shouldn’t and really can’t refuse to travel when you’re pregnant, but what you can do and what you’re entitled to, is your employer reasonably accommodating you because you’re pregnant if your obstetrician says that flying or sitting in a car for long periods of time will be problematic for you due to a pregnancy related issue.

This may be either something diagnosable like gestational hypertension, or some actual issue that is a pregnancy related medical condition, or just because it may be painful, or because you need to use the lavatory much more frequently, or because in some way, it will be harmful to you or your unborn baby during this fairly brief gestational period. Your employer must take that into consideration, and you’re entitled to the flexibility that is part and parcel of a reasonable accommodation.

They have to chat with you. They have to have an interactive process and a dialogue with you to determine the needs of the business versus your needs, as a pregnant woman, to have a healthy pregnancy and to bring your baby to term in an ideal manner. And as long as it’s not an undue hardship on your employer, your employer must accommodate you. So in all likelihood, your travel responsibilities will be modified, when you are pregnant, if you ask for it (and make sure you put it in writing and have your obstetrician’s support for this request).

I hope this has been helpful. If you have a specific question about your or a loved one’s, pregnancy related workplace issues, give me a call. My name is Jack Tuckner. Or shoot 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.