Is Pregnancy Ever A Disability?
Pregnancy can limit a person’s physical abilities but it is not a disability.
What Is A Disability?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that covered persons must have “physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities.” Being pregnant is a natural state of being. It is neither an impairment nor a disorder. Therefore, conditions related to pregnancy such as morning sickness, placenta previa, gestational diabetes and others must be accommodated by your employer.
Making Accommodations At The Workplace
Pregnant and nursing mothers should not be forced to make impossible choices. Any employer with more than 50 employees must make certain accommodations for pregnant women. In fact pregnancy accommodation rights in the workplace are covered by policy. Three acts provide legal protection for pregnant and new mothers they are:
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)
Know Your Pregnancy Rights
Under the above acts a pregnant woman is entitled to:
- Limited work hours with rest periods
- A chair or stool in jobs where long periods of standing are required
- The same accommodations that workers who are injured or fighting a disease receive
- No retaliation for her pregnancy or time off for birth and bonding
Breast-Feeding At The Workplace
Simply because a woman returns to work should not prohibit her from pumping milk for her baby. The law is clear that:
- A company with over 50 employees must allow you to pump for up to a year after your child is born.
- The company must provide you with a safe and private place.
- A bathroom does not count as a safe and private place.
Get Answers From An Attorney
Employers all over the country have lost lawsuits due to pregnancy, leave after birth as well as breast-feeding discrimination. Just because an employer tells you it is their policy does not mean they are following the law. Protect yourself and know the facts of pregnancy in the workplace, speak to a lawyer with specific experience in this area.
If you have been discriminated against on the job, speak with an attorney today. The Armstrong Law Firm is one of California’s few employee-only law firms. We serve clients in the Silicon Valley and entire San Francisco Bay Area.