There are many ways in which an employer may try to discriminate against their employees. From not hiring them because they’re disabled to retaliating against them because of getting pregnant, there are some things employers may do that are illegal.
You should know that if you are pregnant, you are protected against discrimination by law. Your employer or potential employer is not allowed to treat you unfavorably because you are pregnant, intend to get pregnant, are dealing with medical issues related to child birth or have any other condition related to pregnancy. This means that you have the same right to work as others, and you cannot be held back from getting a job or promotion because of your pregnancy.
Can you get fired for being pregnant or taking time away for giving birth?
No. Through the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers are banned from discriminating against you. In most cases, you cannot be rejected for a job, fired, asked to take lesser assignments or to take leave.
Keep in mind, however, that your employer doesn’t have to let you continue to work in a position that that you can no longer do or that creates a threat to others. While that’s the case, they cannot remove you from your job or make you take leave because the work may be a risk to you. You are the only person who can decide when a job is too risky for you to continue while pregnant.
What if you’re struggling with work because of the pregnancy?
If you’re having a hard time working because you’re pregnant, your employer does need to consider providing you with reasonable accommodations. Some options your employer may offer you include:
- New work schedules.
- Permission to sit rather than stand.
- Giving you fewer job functions, so you can do them in a timely manner.
- Granting you permission to work from home.
- Providing options like ergonomic furniture to make you more comfortable during your shift.
These reasonable accommodations should help you do your job safely. If these don’t help or still end up putting others at risk, it’s only then that your employer may begin to look at asking you to take leave or terminating your role.