| Read Time: 3 minutes
Federal Employment Law

Federal employees who are pregnant or may become pregnant have special rights under the law. For one, they have protections against pregnancy-based discrimination and gender-based discrimination.

In addition, they have the legal right to receive certain work adjustments while they are pregnant. 

If you or a loved one are facing pregnancy-related discrimination or are not receiving accommodations from a federal employer, you should contact a qualified workplace discrimination attorney at the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC immediately. 

Working While Pregnant: Relevant Federal Laws 

In 1978, Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). This act expanded the prohibition against sex discrimination to include discrimination relating to pregnancy, childbirth, and all related conditions.

In other words, your employer cannot discriminate against any employees in any way because they are pregnant or were pregnant.

This prohibition applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, and job assignments.

In addition, employers cannot discriminate against employees because they intend to become pregnant or have a medical condition related to pregnancy.

The PDA also prevents employers from harassing those who are working while pregnant. Harassment includes a variety of behaviors, including:

  • Slurs and name-calling;
  • Derogatory comments;
  • Offensive gestures;
  • Ridicule or mockery;
  • Physical assaults;
  • Threats; and
  • Insults.

Finally, the PDA prohibits employers from excluding pregnant women from certain work conditions for their “protection.” 

Due to these expansive protections against pregnancy-related discrimination, any employee who believes they are experiencing harassment because they are working while pregnant should contact an attorney. 

Accommodations for Working While Pregnant

Other laws provide additional protections for pregnant employees. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act entitles employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave for the birth of a child.

Furthermore, employees who are working full-time while pregnant—or even just part-time—may be able to get accommodations to help them perform their job.

According to the EEOC, possible accommodations for employees who are working while pregnant can include things like:

  • Ergonomic office furniture;
  • Permission to sit or stand while working;
  • Work shift changes;
  • Permission to work from home; and
  • Altered break schedules.

A pregnant employee can also receive accommodation for conditions that are caused or aggravated by their pregnancy. Potential conditions include:

  • Lupus;
  • Anemia;
  • Gestational diabetes;
  • Postpartum depression; and
  • Complications from childbirth.

Ideally, the pregnant employee will be able to perform the regular duties of her job with accommodations. In some situations, however, the employee may not be able to perform certain functions of their job while pregnant.

In these cases, the PDA allows employers to temporarily alter the pregnant employee’s job duties. Alternatively, the employer can transfer the pregnant employee to a different position until she delivers the child.

Employers should engage in an interactive discussion with pregnant employees to determine possible accommodations.

Do You Want to Learn More About How the Law Protects Those Who Are Working While Pregnant?

Creating a family is a special and exciting time of life for most people. Although it also comes with many challenges and trials, discrimination and harassment should never enter the picture. 

When discrimination and harassment occurs, it can have a devastatingly negative impact on the mother’s mental and physical health.

That’s why it is so important for you to get legal help immediately if you think you or someone you love are suffering from workplace pregnancy discrimination.

Contact a Federal Workplace Discrimination Lawyer Today

Here at the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC., we are fully committed to protecting our clients from any form of workplace discrimination.

We will fight to ensure that you have a safe place to work, free from discrimination. We’ll also fight to get you any compensation you deserve for any harm you have endured so far.

Even if you aren’t sure whether you need an attorney or are facing discrimination, contact us today. All of our initial consultations are free, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out today.

Don’t wait. Give us a call today at (866) 612-5956.  Let us help you defend your rights!

Author Photo

Aaron Wersing, Attorney at Law

Aaron Wersing is the founder of the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing. Mr. Wersing graduated from the Georgia State University College of Law with a Doctorate in Jurisprudence and was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award. Mr. Wersing previously attended the University of Georgia, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. Mr. Wersing is an active member of his local community. Mr. Wersing acts as a volunteer attorney with Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the pro bono legal aid organization of the Houston Bar Association. He is also a member of professional legal organizations such as the National Employment Lawyers Association and the American Inns of Court. To reach Aaron for a free consultation, please call him at (833) 833-3529.