Expecting a baby should make no difference in the way your employer or coworkers treat you. In fact, by law, you have protections against harassment, demotion, unfair labor and termination among other things.
Understandably so, you may need accommodations when you work while pregnant. You have the right to request support in this regard.
Know the risks
Whether this is your first time pregnant or a subsequent pregnancy, you may well know that each experience has unique risks. Your job may also expose you to additional risks that could interfere with your safety and comfort. Know what these risks are so you can properly mitigate each one.
Asking for accommodations is one strategy to help you stay safer in the workplace throughout your pregnancy. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, some examples of pregnancy-related accommodations include the following:
- Permission to sit and stand as needed
- Permission to use a hybrid schedule
- Implementation of ergonomic office furniture
- Temporary elimination of some duties
- Use of a modified break schedule
- Changes to your shift times including length and frequency
Keep open communication
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to keep open communication with your employer. Be forthright in expressing concerns, as well as sharing what has worked thus far. If a former accommodation is no longer providing the comfort or protection that it was earlier in your pregnancy, you may need additional modifications. Keeping in touch with your employer can show them that you take your health and the health of your unborn child seriously.
If you experience unfair treatment due to your pregnancy, you may wish to take legal action against the employer in question. An attorney can help you identify your rights and gather evidence that shows that the treatment you received was due to your pregnancy. Regardless of your current state, you deserve fair treatment in the workplace.