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Unwanted Workload Reduction and Pregnancy

Posted October 9, 2020 | Discrimination

In the new work from home era, many working mothers are facing workplace discrimination. But for those women on the brink of motherhood, another form of discrimination plagues the workplace–unwanted workload reduction due to pregnancy. If you are a pregnant worker facing unwanted workload reductions, we have legal advice for you.

Pregnant Workers Rights

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), “discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII. Women affected by pregnancy or related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work.”

While this means that you have a right to reasonable work accommodations due to your changing medical condition, you also have a right to not accept some changes. For example, you are not required to accept workload reductions if you do not want them.

At the end of the day, you are the one who has the final say on your offered workload reductions and maternity leave. If you don’t need the reduction or don’t wish to take maternity leave, you cannot be forced to do so.

Federal, State Law Protections for Pregnant Workers, Unwanted Workload Reduction

Both federal and state laws offer protections to pregnant New York employees. These laws include:

  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Pregnant women have the right to request a reduced workload if an employer would make similar accommodations for those employees with temporary disabilities. However, women cannot be forced into accepting workload reductions if they are able to do the work required by their job normally.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act: The Act gives pregnant women the authority to decide when and/or if they will take maternity leave. Employers cannot force women to accept reduced work duties if they wish to continue working.
  • Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: If a pregnant woman needs a “reasonable accommodation” because of pregnancy or childbirth, the employer must provide it unless it would be extremely difficult or expensive. Such accommodations may include a bigger uniform, extra bathroom breaks, or light duty while pregnant. The only reason an employer does not have to provide such accommodations is if it would seriously harm the business.

If you are a pregnant worker in New York City, know that you don’t have to stand for such actions, even if they are masked in goodwill.

Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers Are Here For You: Unwanted Workload Reduction

As a working mother to be, you have rights, just like anyone else. If your employer is not treating you fairly or is being discriminatory against you, you need to speak out. In addition, if the employer is forcing changes in your workload because of your pregnancy, you are not required to accept it. At Brown Kwon & Lam, we will fight for your rights, and those of your family, to ensure you are treated fairly and with respect. Contact us today for a consultation.

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