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Some States are Adding More Protections for Pregnant Workers

Recently, a number of states have added additional legislation that will help protect pregnant workers against discrimination. If you believe that any of these new rights have been violated, you can contact a pregnancy discrimination lawyer in L.A.

Pregnant Worker

Living in California means that your state laws support pregnancy accommodation in the workplace. Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In 1978, the federal government passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. While this act helped to protect many pregnant women, the number of women in the workforce has grown considerably since then, resulting in a number of cases that weren’t covered by the earlier legislation. Often, courts have interpreted the law narrowly, giving states the incentive to pass tougher laws. As Governor Quinn explained when he signed Illinois’ pregnancy accommodation legislation, there should not have to be a choice between employment and parenthood.

While the federal law prevents an employer from firing an employee because of a pregnancy, it is unclear how an employer should accommodate the needs of a pregnant worker. The new slate of accommodation laws include concessions like longer and more frequent bathroom breaks, allotted rest periods, leave time, reduction of duties, or other accommodations to make a pregnancy safer and more comfortable. Furthermore, the employer cannot mandate an accommodation, such as telling a worker to go home. While these are relatively minor changes, studies show that a quarter of a million workers are denied these sorts of requests each year.

Since Illinois passed their law, eleven states have joined and several others have pending legislation. California was actually ahead of the pack, passing a tougher pregnancy accommodation law in 1999.

With tougher state laws, women are now more secure in their employment when they decide to expand their family. If you think that your employer has violated the state’s pregnancy accommodation laws, contact us at Jackson & Associates to learn more about your rights.

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