Rights of Pregnant Women in the Workplace

Amazingly women still get fired from their jobs due to the simple fact that they are pregnant. Just in this fiscal year, over 5,370 government agencies received charges that stated women were subjected to discrimination in their places of work. The most common complaint being that these women were fired because they became pregnant, even if the pregnancy had no impact on their job performance.

Since the Pregnancy Discrimination Act passed in 1978 it has been illegal to discriminate against pregnant women. Some employers don’t seem to have gotten that memo and still release women of their positions or alter their positions as a result of it. If you are a pregnant woman that is still working, take a look at some of your rights in the workplace.

A company cannot refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant. Employers are also unable to refuse employment to a woman that may become pregnant in the future. Legal Counsel in the EEOC, Peggy Mastroianni reports that this is very common when workers are applying for lower wage jobs.

There are times when pregnancy related conditions might allow women special accommodations. Women that encounter certain complications or some sort of pregnancy related impairments are to be treated just as a regular employee that have medical issues. For example: those with severe morning sickness or back pain, may be allowed to have a bottle of water or crackers at the work station along with a stool to sit on.

Employers are not able to force employees to take any time off or change their jobs, if the woman is still able to perform her job duties. This is pretty common and there are times that employers think that they are doing their employee a favor. Essentially employers are not able to make any decisions about an employee’s position due to pregnancy alone. They are only able to do so if the woman’s pregnancy makes job duties impossible to perform.

Kurtz, A. (2014, July 28). 8 Rights of Pregnant Women at Work. Retrieved September 4, 2014, from http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/25/news/economy/rights-pregnant-workers/index.html?iid=SF_BN_River

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