When you enter into a business’s employ, you make a two-sided agreement. You promise to give your employer your time and expertise when they need you, and they promise to pay you for your trouble. Thanks to United States labor laws, they also promise to provide you with a safe, comfortable working environment that will allow you to hold up your end of the bargain, without feeling threatened.
If you’ve found your way here, chances are you’re asking yourself “what are my rights as a pregnant employee.” Unfortunately, not many women realize that there are a number of employee laws set up just to provide rights for employees who are or may become pregnant. After all, whether you’re pregnant or not, your employer has to stick to their part of the deal. If not, you have every right to involve employment attorneys.
What Are My Rights as a Pregnant Employee?
- You Are Entitled to 12 Weeks of Unpaid Leave
- If You Can Do Your Job, They Need to Let You
- It’s Still Your Right to Feel Comfortable Where You Work
What many women wondering “what are my rights as a pregnant employee” don’t realize is so long as the business they work for has more than 15 employees, they are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. As WomensHealth.gov outlines, pregnant women need to take time to heal and to bond with their children. If your employer denies you this right, it’s time to take steps.
One of the most common problems women encounter when they become pregnant is a sudden shift in their work responsibilities and hours. As the Society for Human Resource Management writes, this is a big no-no. Unless there is a medical reason for these changes, you have a right to your hours and to the responsibilities you were assigned when you were hired.
No matter what, as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission points out, you need to know that you have a right to expect to feel safe and comfortable where you work. If someone, be it your boss or a peer, is making inappropriate jokes about your pregnancy or threatening you in any way, that’s not okay. Harassment for any reason is illegal.
Has your boss ever violated your rights as an employee when you were pregnant? What did you do about it? Share your experiences with us in the comment section below. Find out more at this site.