Under federal law (if you work for an employer with at least 15 employees), you are covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Civil Rights Act, which protects you from discrimination based on your sex, which all of course pregnancy-related issues are inseparable from your gender and who you are as a woman.
During COVID pandemic, 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.
Pregnant employees face a unique set of pregnancy-related stressors as they anticipate giving birth. Many pregnant women understandably experience anxiety regarding job security. Despite federal, state and local governments passing laws that protect pregnant employees, we still have a long way to go before pregnant employees feel entirely safe and empowered in the workplace.
You’ll quickly learn in vetting attorneys that there are many different approaches to fighting pregnancy discrimination legally… I highly recommend checking out Jack Tuckner’s podcast for a more comprehensive overview of your options.
If you’re pregnant, business travel can be difficult, especially if you’re having complications. What are your legal rights and what conversation should you have with your boss?
Does your boss need to allow you time for a doctor’s appointment during the work day? If they don’t, is this discrimination? Can they impose any requirements?
Under federal law, since 2010, women returning from maternity leave who are breastfeeding, nursing parents – are entitled to a clean, private, non-restroom, non-bathroom space in which to express milk; to take a break and to lactate on a similar schedule to what your baby would be doing, nursing, if you were home, two or three times a day. Otherwise, it’s very painful, you can develop mastitis, it may interfere permanently with your ability to breastfeed, and it’s illegal.
This week’s the 40th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act – the 1978 federal law designed and enacted to protect women who become pregnant while working, from being fired while pregnant and working.
Here’s one thing all pregnant working women in the United States now have in every State in the Union, and that’s the right not to be treated differently, not to experience hostility, backlash, a diminution, a degradation to the terms or the conditions or the privileges of your employment because of your pregnancy, because of your childbirth, or because of a related medical condition.
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.