Expecting a child should be a time of joy. However, most families are can’t afford for the expecting mother to stop working until after the child is born and rely on one income for months. The need for steady income is why many women work as long as they are physically able to before their child is born.
While employers are legally bound to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women, these accommodations aren’t always made.
The New York Times released an investigation on pregnancy discrimination in the United States in October 2018. After looking over thousands of court records, the paper found that employers refused to accommodate led to premature births and more tragic results like stillbirths. These incidents could have been prevented
Pregnancy discrimination is illegal
While not every state requires employers to accommodate expecting mothers, California does. The law requires employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant women with a note from their doctor. Failure to follow a doctor’s recommendations is illegal. Accommodations can include moving a pregnant woman to a position that involves less-strenuous work, weight-lifting restrictions, and providing rest breaks as needed.
However, employers are not legally obligated to create a new position they would not have otherwise.
Don’t take any chances
Earning a living is important but it’s not worth risking the health of an unborn child or the mother. No mother should have to risk a life just to make ends meet. A doctor’s visit to obtain work restrictions is a good first step to take for expecting mothers. The Family Medical Leave Act also allows for 12 weeks of time off per year. No one should feel as if they should have to choose between their job and the health of themselves and their unborn child.