Discovering that you have a new baby on the way is a joyful occasion. Unfortunately for working women, mistreatment in the workplace can sour a little of their joy.
Pregnancy does not diminish women, nor does it mean they cannot fulfill their work duties. When they have employer support, they can be as productive as they were before becoming pregnant.
Support starts with accommodation
Some employers do not offer pregnant women support that would ensure continued productivity without posing hardships for the employee. The accommodations most pregnancies require are minimal and not costly for employers. Examples required under New York human rights law include the following:
- Alterations to dress codes
- Additional bathroom breaks
- Modified schedule if necessary
- Occasional rest or hydration breaks
- Light duty or help with physical tasks
- Time away for healthcare appointments
- Temporary transfer to less hazardous tasks
Employers must also comply with requests for environmental modifications like an ergonomic desk chair or a workspace closer to the bathroom.
So long as the requested accommodations do not impose undue hardships on the employer, they may not refuse reasonable requests. If they ignore or refuse to address requests for reasonable accommodations, they could face civil penalties and court-ordered damages. Additionally, employers may not fire or punish pregnant employees who request workplace accommodations.
Pregnancy is natural and necessary. Employees should not face mistreatment in the workplace just because they are creating a family. New York has some of the most progressive human rights and employment laws in the nation. You have an excellent chance of finding a solution for your harm if you take your case to an employment law professional.