The physical expectations of a full-time or even part-time job can sometimes wear on even the most able-bodied of workers. So what happens in the case of a pregnant worker who perhaps needs a little bit of extra time to rest?
Pregnant workers often wonder whether or not it is okay to take those extra breaks when needed. Fortunately, the answer is yes.
Establishing the need for breaks
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing discusses the rights and obligations of pregnant workers. Under law, pregnancy counts as a medical condition or a disability. This means that it is up to the employer to make accommodations necessary for pregnant workers to continue their work safely and in good health.
First, it is important to establish that pregnant workers need breaks for various reasons. They need to use the restroom more often than non-pregnant employees. They also need to stand, sit, or stretch more often due to the pressure that weight distribution puts on their bodies.
Under The Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers cannot take adverse action against pregnant workers. This includes turning down requests for additional breaks.
How to ask for more breaks
Though it is not a legal requirement to submit requests for more breaks in writing, it is still a good idea to do so. This creates a paper trail, allowing workers to prove in a court of law that they attempted to gain access to extra breaks and did not get them.
This is important in evidence-collecting on the chance that workers must fight for their rights to additional rest, which may happen.