In a prior post, we highlighted a few helpful tips that pregnant women could refer to if they had questions about how to deal with an employer’s actions that could be labeled as pregnancy discrimination. We find it prudent and helpful to expound on that theme, and give some additional tips for women who may be dealing with a potentially hostile employer.
Know how many employees work for the company – This is an important distinction because federal anti-pregnancy discrimination laws apply to employers who have at least 15 employees. Also the Family Medical Leave Act applies to employers who have at least 50 employees working within a 75 mile radius. So before understanding what laws may apply to you, it is important to do a headcount.
Read the written policy – Chances are that your employer has an employee handbook that details an employee’s rights and options after they become pregnant. If none exists, it is critical to get in touch with your HR representative and your supervisor to craft a policy that will accommodate your needs. Also, a written policy is important because some employers disregard them to their own detriment.
Keep an open dialogue – Every pregnancy is different, meaning that one pregnant employee will have an “ideal” pregnancy where she never misses days, can concentrate at all times, and is not subject to any physical limitations. However, there are other pregnant employees who need time off, are ordered to have bed rest, and walk in flip-flops all the time because they cannot wear heels. Keeping your employer involved may help in preventing adverse decisions against you.
Following these tips can be helpful if you eventually must pursue legal action to enforce your rights.
Source: HuffingtonPost.com “5 ways to deal with a pregnant employee without getting sued,” Tom Spiggle, June 2, 2014