Pregnancy should be a joyous time in your life in which you are able to work but also prepare for the birth of your child. While some pregnancies are straightforward, others can come with complications early on. This can mean that some people who are pregnant need to take time off work throughout their pregnancy.
If you are dealing with severe morning sickness or ongoing medical issues due to your pregnancy, you may worry about whether this extended time off work will have a negative impact on your work. For example, you may be concerned that your employer will deem you to be unreliable or that they will terminate your employment. It is important that you are aware of your rights as a pregnant employee and that you take action to assert your rights when appropriate. The following is an overview of why pregnancy complications should never affect your career.
Discrimination cannot occur based on pregnancy
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate based on pregnancy regarding any aspect of employment. This means that pregnancy cannot be taken into consideration when an employer makes hiring, firing or salary decisions. In the same way, an employer cannot make job assignment decisions based on a person’s pregnancy. Therefore, if you feel that you are not progressing in your career in the way that you deserve because of your pregnancy, you may be able to take legal action against your employer.
Pregnancy complications count as temporary disability
If you are suffering from a medical condition due to your pregnancy such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or severe morning sickness, you are classed as having a temporary disability under the law. This means that your employer may need to provide reasonable accommodations for you, and your job will be protected.
Make sure that you take action to protect your career if you believe that you are being discriminated against due to your pregnancy.