There are a lot of factors that go into planning for a baby. You have to make sure that your insurance is up to date, that the baby room is furnished and that you are taking care of your health. One thing that doesn’t get considered is how to deal with work.
Pregnant women are in a protected class of workers and enjoy a lot of employment rights. However, many women are not familiar with them and often get confused about what can happen at work if they’re pregnant. In this article, we will go over what those rights are so you can make sure your job is protected.
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Can you get fired?
One of the reasons that women often are discriminated against when it comes to hiring is because employers are afraid that their female employees will get pregnant. This is why there are laws like the Oregon Family Leave Act that prevent women from getting fired when they become pregnant.
In other words, no, you can’t get fired from a job when your boss finds out that you are pregnant. If you are terminated when they find out then you have a very good case to make with a lawyer that you were discriminated against and fired without cause.
This also covers protection against getting demoted, passed over for promotions, and placed on involuntary leave.
Right to reasonable accommodations
You not only have the right to work and keep your job but the right to do so safely. This means that some accommodations must be made by your employer to ensure that you’re able to keep working without risk to your health.
They need to be able to provide you with office equipment that can help you work in comfort and safety. For instance, ergonomic desk chairs help your circulation and provide lumbar support. Not only should accommodations be physical objects, but also include a change in schedule for breaks and starting and stopping time for work.
In fact, many pregnant women are being allowed to work from home so they are more comfortable and at less risk of catching contagious diseases like Covid-19.
Unfortunately, some employers can’t accept that accommodations be made for employees who are pregnant and only think of it as an inconvenience. At the same time, they know that they are under obligation to keep a pregnant employee and can get into a lot of trouble by firing her.
What they do instead is harass and intimidate to make the environment hostile and the pregnant worker will quit. Don’t quit as this is also illegal and can get your employer in a lot of trouble.
Document the harassment so you have some evidence to take to the EEOC so you can make sure that the situation is dealt with by them and leave you free to live your life. Your employer is legally obligated to deal with the harasser and make sure it doesn’t continue.