Pregnancy is an exciting time for a new mother and expecting family. You are on the verge of entering a brave new world as you welcome a new life. Unfortunately, many parents are also plagued by fear about what it means for their career. You probably know that you are entitled to job protection if you are pregnant. But, to what extent, do those protections apply? This post will go over pregnancy and how it may affect your job.
The answer, like everything, is complicated. You are under no obligation to disclose to your employer that you are pregnant, but you may want to because your benefits (i.e. employment protections) only activate once you tell your employer that you are pregnant.
Once you inform your employer, you are entitled to accommodations under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The PDA prohibits employers from discriminating against you for being pregnant and requires your employer to adopt reasonable accommodations. The standard accommodations include reduced hours, special chairs, or even a disability parking spot. It also requires your employer to give you a few days off to give birth.
Additionally, under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) you might be entitled to leave during your pregnancy. The FMLA requires employers to give up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for family reasons, i.e. to give birth and care for your child.
If you believe you were fired, demoted or lost access to a fair promotion because you were pregnant, then you may want to speak to a lawyer. You could have a valid employment claim. Workplace discrimination is a serious offense and you are entitled to lost wages and other compensation if your claim is valid. A lawyer can help you secure compensation, to assist you while you look for alternate employment during your pregnancy.