Across the country, states governments are beginning to recognize the need for laws that recognize and protect pregnant employees’ rights in the workplace. Special accommodations are already ensured for a variety of conditions, and employers should make adjustments in order to make necessary arrangements for pregnant employees who are experiencing symptoms that affect their ability to work. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes language that provides protection for employees who are dealing with morning sickness, placenta previa, high risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, or other pregnancy-related concerns.
Recent polls have found that around two-thirds of first-time mothers choose to work during their pregnancies. Of these, as high as 90 percent choose to continue working up to and into the last two months of their pregnancies. Sadly, a number of legal cases are currently being brought regarding employers’ violations of the rights set out by the ADA, which resulted in miscarriages.
Taking Steps to Protect Pregnant Workers
Many states have recently committed to protect the rights of pregnant employees in the workplace. In some states, employers are now required to meet the needs of pregnant women and new mothers with delivery-related medical conditions. A few of the typical adjustments made in response to these new standards involve employers providing:
- Additional rest breaks
- Assistance with manual labor
- Adjusted work schedules
Companies are also expected to ensure that their employees are fully aware of their rights. This often means providing documentation in which these rights are enumerated and explained for the expecting employee.
Contact a WorkSTEPS Representative
Our highly trained WorkSTEPS representatives can offer assistance to employers and managers in providing on-site pre- and post-natal wellness programs in order to ensure the safety and health of your pregnant employees in the workplace. Call us today at (512) 617-4100 to learn more about our training programs and services.