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What reasonable accommodations am I entitled to as a pregnant employee?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Pregnancy Discrimination

If you are classified as an employee, the law protects you from discrimination based on your pregnancy status, and it also entitles you to reasonable accommodations to ensure your health and safety. This means you have the right to request modifications to your work duties, schedule or work environment that will enable you to effectively perform your job while safeguarding your health and the health of your pregnancy.

While this does not mean that your employer is required to grant every request for accommodation, they are obligated to engage in an interactive process with you to discuss potential accommodations and find solutions that meet both your needs and the operational requirements of the job.

Schedule adjustments

As a pregnant employee, you might require schedule adjustments to accommodate prenatal appointments, fatigue or other pregnancy-related needs. This could include flexible start or end times, allowing for additional breaks during the workday for rest or medical appointments or even a temporary reduction in hours if necessary.

Reduction of menial work

To avoid undue strain on your body during pregnancy, you may request a reduction of menial or physically demanding tasks that could pose a risk to your health or the health of your baby. This could involve delegating heavy lifting duties to other employees, providing ergonomic equipment or support to reduce repetitive motions or awkward postures or assigning alternative tasks that are more suitable for your condition.

Remote work

If the circumstances allow, you may request remote work arrangements to minimize exposure to potential hazards in the workplace or to accommodate any medical conditions associated with your pregnancy. Remote work can provide a safer and more comfortable environment, allowing you to fulfill your job responsibilities while reducing the need for physical exertion or exposure to infectious illnesses.

If you are facing discrimination or encountering resistance from your employer in requesting reasonable accommodations for your pregnancy, you have the right to seek legal assistance and explore options for recourse to better ensure that your rights are protected under the law.