What are my Rights as a Pregnant Employee during the Pandemic?

By Jack Tuckner, Esq.


I’m Jack Tuckner, an attorney with the women’s rights in the workplace law firm based in New York, Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser. And I want to talk to you a little bit today about your rights if you’re pregnant and working, to flexibility and protection during the time of this still raging pandemic. If you’re a high risk pregnancy, or you have pregnancy-related medical challenges and conditions such as gestational diabetes, or severe hypertension, etc., you would be entitled to flexibility, also known as reasonable accommodation by your employer. And those accommodations can be numerous, take numerous forms, such as working from home, different scheduling, being separated from client or customer contact. Just some type of yes, special treatment due to your pregnancy-related medical condition.

And you can’t be treated worse, your employer can’t decide that you can’t work, or that he’s going to cut your hours because you’re pregnant either. That is treating you differently on the basis of your sex and pregnancy, which is the very definition of pregnancy discrimination. And then, there are 29 states and five cities currently, and the states, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, where this firm principally practices, where you don’t need to have a disability in order to qualify for an accommodation, you simply need to be a pregnant woman, dealing with certain limitations, known limitations of pregnancy that require this flexibility and adjustment from your employer.

Unless all of what you’re asking presents an undue hardship on your employer, but your employer would have to argue that. And at the very least, you’re entitled to what’s known as an interactive process, a discussion about your needs to be able to continue working while pregnant and remaining safe and keeping your unborn baby safe. If you have any questions about your particular pregnancy-related issue, as it pertains to your work, please send us an email, give us a call and we’ll be happy to consult with you free of charge. This is Jack Tuckner again with the firm of Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser. Stay safe.