Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of many women’s lives. However, it comes with its own challenges and difficulties.
Many women who fall pregnant worry about their work situation. They are unsure of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to their employment.
One of the most common concerns of pregnant employees is whether or not they will be fired due to their reduced capacity for work. Or there’s the worry of how they will be treated during their pregnancy and in the months following childbirth as a new parent.
These worries are not unwarranted. Thousands of women have been treated unfairly in the workplace due to being pregnant. They are treated differently or given no additional support for their needs.
However, the mistreatment and unfair dismissal of pregnant women in the workplace is illegal. As part of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), employers in the United States cannot terminate employment based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.
As a pregnant woman, it’s essential that you know your rights. Knowing exactly what you are entitled to will prevent your employees from mistreating you or discriminating against you due to your pregnancy.
If you feel that you are a victim of unfair treatment by your employer due to pregnancy, you should contact a discrimination lawyer. HKM lawyers in Atlanta are experts who can guide you through creating a claim against your employer for the way they have treated you.
Here are some of the important pregnancy-related rights to know.
If you take pregnancy-related leave from your job, your employer must leave your position open for as long as they usually would for a disability-related absence. Alternatively, they must be able to offer a similar position within the company as the role that you previously had.
Employees must also offer the same amount of paid leave as they would for other forms of medical leave. For example, if an employee has had non-elective surgery and has required time away from work to recover, your employer must provide the same to you as a pregnant woman.
As of January 2021, as part of Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML), pregnant women are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave each year for pregnancy-related complications. It’s up to you when you take these 12 weeks, but most women take this leave in the time preceding and following childbirth.
The PFML law is in place to maintain your job security and protect your income. However, it’s important to know that employers are not obligated by law to provide benefits. They are only required to treat you the same way they treat other employees.
By law, employers cannot dismiss you from your employment for having an abortion. In most states, having an abortion entitles you to receive the same work benefits as other employees who are taking medical leave.
As with paid leave, employees are not legally required to provide benefits should they choose to have an abortion. They are only obligated to provide you with the same treatment as everybody else.