For many women in Indianapolis and all over the world, pregnancy is a time of joy. And in today's world, “having it all” is easier than ever for women. Changes to employment laws make it easier for women to receive reasonable accommodation in order to continue to work while pregnant, without fear of employment retaliation. Some businesses even offer post-pregnancy help, such as having lactation rooms on the premises and offering more generous leave time for both moms and dads.
However, pregnancy is still considered by some to be a liability to a woman's career. Sometimes employers ignore notes from doctors recommending certain additional accommodations, such as being allowed to keep a bottle of water on-hand. One pregnant woman was forced to decide between following her doctor's recommendation to keep a bottle of water with her and lose her job, or to ignore the recommendation in order to keep her job. She chose the health and safety of herself and her unborn child. She also chose to sue her employer. The case was later settled out of court.
Pregnant women should never be forced to choose risking the life of their child or their own health. The good news is that four states have passed new laws that expressly require employers to “reasonably accommodate” their pregnant staff, while some other states and even Congress have some form of additional pregnancy accommodation laws being considered.
Despite old and new laws, there are still some employers that do not seem to understand or be aware of what specifically they can or cannot legally do in regards to pregnant workers and accommodating them. Until more is done, pregnant women will still potentially face violations of their legally-protected rights. If you are pregnant and feel your rights or the health of your unborn baby have been jeopardized by your employer, an Indianapolis employee rights attorney may be able to help. No woman should carry an additional hardship at such a pivotal time in her life.
Source: NPR, “When Being Pregnant Also Means Being Out Of A Job,” Yuki Noguchi, April 17, 2014