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Key rights for expecting mothers at work

Woman who are expecting children can't be discriminated against under U.S. law. That's been true for decades, as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act went through in 1978. Below are a few key rights a woman has in the workplace:

1. The right to keep her job. She can't be fired when she becomes pregnant.

2. The right to be offered a job. Even if a woman isn't employed when she gets pregnant, employers can't discriminate and refuse to hire her on these grounds.

3. The right to special accommodations for medical impairments. This doesn't come up with pregnancies that go smoothly, but there can be serious complications. If a woman needs those special accommodations as a result, she can't be denied them.

4. The right to keep working. If the woman can still do her job, an employer can't force her to change positions or take mandatory time off.

5. The right not to face harassment. This is often a form of sexual harassment. When it makes for a hostile work environment, a woman's right may be violated.

Essentially, employers are expected to treat women who are pregnant just as they would other employees. The same is expected of co-workers. This is very important in the modern workplace, where women are more involved than ever before in U.S. history. They are to be given the same rights, protections, and working conditions as anyone else who works for the company.

Unfortunately, discrimination still happens. If you've been wrongfully fired or otherwise discriminated against because you're pregnant, it's important to know what legal options you have.

Source: CNN, "8 rights of pregnant women at work," Annalyn Kurtz, accessed March 24, 2017

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