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What do Reasonable Accommodations Look Like for Pregnancy?

Employment Law / April 23, 2022

Pregnancy and postpartum is a unique experience that develops differently in women. Some women experience little to no limitations, while others may require more care during their pregnancy. Women may develop complications, or their existing impairments can be exacerbated due to pregnancy or childbirth. As a result, of the many different ways women’s bodies respond to pregnancy, they may require job accommodations during and after their pregnancies.

Thankfully, there are federal laws in place that require employers to accommodate pregnant workers. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) detail the laws governing accommodations for pregnant workers.

What Do Reasonable Accommodations Look Like for Pregnant Workers?

The PDA requires your employer to make “reasonable accommodations” for pregnancy-related medical conditions unless an employer can prove that the accommodations result in an “undue burden.” However, the high standard for undue burden requires your employer to prove that providing you with accommodations is nearly impossible without harming their business.

Reasonable accommodations may take the form of:

  • Additional or longer breaks (to use the restroom, eat, rest, or to attend to any medical needs)
  • Time off for medical appointments
  • Help with lifting heavy items
  • Help to perform other demanding tasks
  • Modified schedule
  • Exemption from mandatory overtime
  • Working from home
  • Reassignment or transfer to another less demanding position

Pregnant workers should understand their rights to accommodations and what accommodations should look like in the workplace. The more they know about their own rights can help them protect themselves against discrimination in the workplace. If other employees are receiving accommodations similar to the kind you require, your employer is legally required to provide those same accommodations to you.

Good Faith Interactive Process

Furthermore, your employer must engage in an interactive process when you’re requesting accommodations. Once you’ve requested accommodations, your employer can not simply deny or refuse your request. They must legally demonstrate an effort to provide you with the accommodations you need. This process of ensuring an employer tries to offer you the best accommodation options they can is called the “good faith interactive process.” The process is a significant obligation your employer owes you. However, you must engage in this process as well. Both parties must participate. Your participation may look like attending meetings with your employer or obtaining notes detailing your need for accommodations from your doctor. While this can be a stressful process, you should fully engage because it puts you in the best position to obtain accommodations. Additionally, if your employer denies you after this process, you have records to support a workplace discrimination case.

Contact an Experienced Workplace Discrimination Lawyer at Hollis Law Firm

At Hollis Law Frim, our discrimination lawyer has a proven track record of successfully fighting workplace discrimination. We will treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve. Hollis Law Firm believes in standing up for those treated unfairly in the workplace. Workplace discrimination should not be tolerated under any circumstances. If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy, do not hesitate to contact us. Speak with our workplace discrimination lawyer today. You can contact our firm at (800) 701-3672 or fill out our contact form.