Pregnant employees are just that: employees. As such, employers must treat them equal to their counterparts. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case in the workplace. Consider the following examples:
- It is unlawful to harass a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth in the workplace. For example, unsolicited comments about a pregnant woman’s physical appearance or hormone levels are forms of harassment.
- Fringe Benefits Package
- Pregnant employees are entitled to equal personal/medical leave and group health insurance. For example, pregnant employees are entitled up to 12-weeks of family leave for the purpose of childcare following the child’s birth.
- Reasonable Accommodation
- Some pregnant employees experience side effects that may afford them additional protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As such, employers must provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodation(s) necessary to perform the job.
- Nursing Mothers
- Nursing mothers have the right to express milk in the workplace under a provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act. As such, employers may not deny a nursing mother time to express breast milk during work hours.