According to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, pregnancy is a protected status. It is a form of gender discrimination to discriminate against a pregnant woman in the workplace.
Plus, pregnancy is not only protected on a national level, it is also shielded in our state under the Ohio Fair Employment Practice Law. When a worker is pregnant or experiences illness related to her pregnancy, there are employment protections. Talk to a Columbus employment discrimination attorney to understand your rights.
Accommodations for Pregnant Workers
It is common for women who are pregnant to need some accommodations at work and reasonable accommodations should be made by an employer. Some accommodation examples include the following:
- Allowing pregnant workers to sit and stand as needed.
- Reducing the amount of heavy lifting.
- Granting some or all hours as remote work.
- Bathroom breaks granted more frequently.
Because of discrimination worries, some pregnant applicants find they do not want to tell potential employers that they are pregnant. But an employer is not allowed to turn down a qualified applicant solely because they are pregnant. Similarly, potential employers are not allowed to ask a candidate if they are pregnant or if they plan to have children in the future.
Many pregnant employees / pregnant applicants choose to keep information about their pregnancy to themselves and not talk about it in the workplace or during the interview process, particularly if they are early on in the pregnancy.
Pay and Benefits While On Leave
If other workers get paid leave when they are not able to work for health concerns, a pregnant woman should also have access to paid leave. A lot will depend on the human resource department’s policies. There may be the possibility of accessing vacation time or other paid time off benefits while on maternity leave.
When a workplace has a union, discuss your situation with a union official. If not, talk to a human resources manager. A person who understands your workplace benefits should be able provide insights on what leave options are available. Some organizations provide special perks, such as expanded leave based on the number of years a person has worked for an organization.
There are ways to protect yourself. For example, make pregnancy accommodation requests in writing. Do the same when requesting leave. In the documents, state the reason for your request and keep copies for yourself along with any medical documentation. Then you have records to strengthen your case if you move forward with a grievance or legal claim with a Columbus pregnancy discrimination attorney.
Have you requested pregnancy accommodations at your place of work? There are laws in place to protect Ohio employees during and after pregnancy. Contact the pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC. We are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers and use our experience and knowledge to help you. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.