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Are You Experiencing Pregnancy Discrimination? Know Your Rights

Are You Experiencing Pregnancy Discrimination? Know Your Rights

Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination is quite common in Ohio. Pregnant women sometimes need certain accommodations in the workplace. They may have a doctor’s appointment every few weeks, or they may be working with back pain or morning sickness. After having the child, a new mom will need to stay home for a certain period of time, and those who have suffered a miscarriage need time to mourn the loss and physically recover. 

There are state and federal laws that can provide the necessary time off and help women and their unborn stay healthy while at work. If you are pregnant and are still working, it is important to know your rights in the workplace.

Rights Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, it is against the law for any employer in the country with 15 or more employees to treat pregnant workers unfairly. Employers also cannot use unfair employment tactics when a worker is trying to get pregnant, or if they have suffered a miscarriage or stillborn birth. The Act grants many rights for pregnant workers, which include the right to:

  • Continue working and work the same number of hours after learning of a pregnancy
  • Be protected from harassment based on a pregnancy status
  • Be free from questions about a current pregnancy, or about one’s plans to have children during an employment interview
  • Be treated in the same manner as other non-pregnancy employees

The anti-discrimination laws in Ohio largely mirror the federal legislation. Fortunately, the state law applies to employers who employ four or more workers.

Rights Under the Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities. Certain pregnancy-related conditions, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, are considered disabilities under this law. This means if you are pregnant, you have the right to:

  • Be free from discrimination based on your pregnancy status
  • Reasonable accommodations, such as taking breaks more often, temporary relief from heavy lifting, or a chair for sitting if you were once required to stand for long periods of time

While all pregnant employees have the right to be free from discrimination, employers do not have to provide accommodations that are unreasonable or that would place a substantial burden on them. For example, you may not be able to ask your employer to build an entirely new office for you.

Rights Under the Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they are pregnant or need to care for a newborn or adopted child. If you are eligible for this leave, your employer must grant it and you have the right to be protected from retaliatory actions when you return to work.

Our Employment Lawyers in Columbus Will Uphold Your Rights

If you are pregnant, you have many rights in the workplace. At Marshall Forman & Schlein, our Columbus employment lawyers can advise on what those are, and make sure they are upheld. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about your legal options.

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