Your Workplace Rights While Pregnant
Every workplace has rules written to protect the company’s assets and employees from harm and damage. As a working pregnant woman, it’s important for you to understand your rights in the workforce.
In the case your needs aren’t addressed according to policy, or you’ve been a victim of a violation, you can take the steps necessary to protect your health, your baby, your job, and your income.
- Workplace Rights As A Pregnant Employee
- You Have The Right To Be Treated Fairly And Respectfully
- A Woman Cannot Be Fired For Trying To Get Pregnant Or Becoming Pregnant While Employed
- You Can Take Part Of Your Maternity Leave Before Giving Birth
- Going Back To Work After Pregnancy
- Report Wrongdoings Right Away
Workplace Rights As A Pregnant Employee
The following list identifies the legal rights for pregnant workers under the Federal Law. Refer to it whenever you have questions about what is and isn’t permissible by law.
You Have The Right To Be Treated Fairly And Respectfully
First and foremost, you deserve to be treated with respect. Your employer cannot discriminate against you at the work. If you’re facing discrimination and feel that it's because of your pregnancy, you have the right to take action. Follow your company guide-lines for reporting inappropriate behavior and seek legal guidance, if needed.
Some examples of pregnancy-related discrimination at the workplace include:
- Refusing to promote or hire
- Termination of employment
- Adverse differential treatment in employment
- Failure to provide reasonable workplace accommodations
Any workplace with fifteen or more employees cannot take action against you while you’re pregnant, experiencing pregnancy-related symptoms, or giving birth because it's against the law.
Pregnant women are entitled to the same rights as anyone who is temporarily disabled due to a health condition. Make sure that your boss is aware of this if they discriminate against you. Contact your human resources department, and take the necessary steps to escalate the situation to the attention of the right people if the situation gets out of hand.
A Woman Cannot Be Fired For Trying To Get Pregnant Or Becoming Pregnant While Employed
An employer cannot fire you for wanting to start a family or for becoming pregnant while employed. You are entitled to seek reasonable accommodations to allow you to continue with your regular job duties safely. This may include altered breaks, a change in work scheduling, ergonomic furniture, elimination of minor job functions, and permission to work from home.
Some accommodations may naturally result in limiting your work capacity. However, your employer cannot reduce your pay due to your pregnancy.
If you're unable to perform your job at any capacity, due to your pregnancy as it may compromise the safety of your baby— even with workplace accomodations — you may be entitled to unpaid leave.
There are some states that offer more support in these pregnancy situations, and you may be qualified for medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act enforced by the US Department of Labor.
You Can Take Part Of Your Maternity Leave Before Giving Birth
While pregnant, your workload capacity may be severely affected due to morning sickness, change in energy levels, back pain, or other health complications (pregnancy-induced diabetes, hypertension, infections). On top of all of this, preparing for the arrival of a baby can a lot of time.
The Family and Medical Leave Act allows you to take maternity leave before giving birth if your health depends on it. You have protection for up to 12 weeks as dictated by the law.
If your pregnancy has made it difficult for you to work up until your due date, request a leave of absence and take time to prepare for your baby and new life as a mother. Make sure that you fill out all paperwork to protect yourself and your job.
Now that we've scratched the surface on your rights as a pregnant woman at the workplace, we want to briefly mention the benefits of wearing a postpartum girdle to support your recovery when you go back to your job.
Going Back To Work After Pregnancy
Now that we've scratched the surface on your rights as a pregnant woman at the workplace, we want to briefly mention the benefits of wearing a postpartum girdle to support your recovery for when you go back to your job as well as discuss some of your rights as a working mother.
Wear a Postpartum Girdle to Work
Coming back to work after pregnancy leave can be a challenging transition. While having a new born is truly a treasured time, it's not without its stress — from sleepless nights, disrupted schedules, recovering from delivery.
Every pregnancy experience is different, just as recovery times can vary from one woman to the next. But once you're ready to jump back into the workforce, remember to be patient with yourself and get the support you need to make the work hours more comfortable for you.
Many postpartum moms wear a postpartum girdle under office clothes or uniforms to support their lower-back and help them feel more confident in their clothes again.
A high-quality postpartum garment is more than just body-shaping underwear. Bellefit postpartum girdles are designed with unique features to support your post-pregnancy body — such as medical-grade compression to support your abs and back and adjustable crotch openings to accomodate padding.
As A Single Mother, You’re Entitled To Standard Benefits
You cannot be denied insurance coverage because you do not have a partner or a spouse.
All single mothers are entitled to the same standard benefits married mothers receive. If your employer decides you don't qualify for these benefits, and you believe their personal judgement is getting in the way of your rights as an employee, you should seek out legal guidance as this is a form of discrimination.
Report Wrongdoings Right Away
Pregnancy discrimination is a serious issue. No workplace should ever make you feel less than you are for any reason.
If you feel your rights have been violated, contact the human resources department of the company you work for or your state’s representative for further advice. You do not need to tolerate aggressive or dismissive behavior.
A safe, healthy workplace environment encourages you to thrive, despite your temporary medical condition. If you feel insecure or threatened in any way at work, it’s time to take action by seeking outside help.
Did your employer ever treat you poorly while you were pregnant? What actions did you take to counter the problem? It's high time we all rise up for our rights. Please feel free to ask questions and share your experiences to help other Bellefit moms on our blog.