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Pregnant employees should know three things about the workplace

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2014 | Workplace Discrimination |

The plethora of “help wanted” signs should say it all. Retailers throughout Florida are preparing for the holiday season and will be hiring thousands of temporary workers between now and Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). However, for those seeking extra employment who may be pregnant may have some difficulty finding work. Additionally, some employers may not know about the state and federal rules that protect pregnant workers and may take certain actions against them that may be illegal (such as limiting breaks and time off for appointment, requiring improper physical exertion).  Because of this, it is critical for pregnant workers to understand their rights and protect themselves.

This post will provide some helpful tips.

Know the type of company you work for – Knowing how many employees your employer has is important because it may have to adhere to federal anti-pregnancy discrimination laws. The Family Medical Leave Act, for instance, applies to employers who have 50 or more employees.

Know what type of leave you’re allowed – Aside from the protections guaranteed by law, your employee handbook should include provisions for time off (or flexibility) to attend prenatal appointments, as well as instructions for maternity leave.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need – During your pregnancy, you may need time off here and there deal with nausea, as well as unexpected aches and pains. You may also need an accommodation to coincide with work restrictions imposed by your doctor.  In these instances, it is important to keep everyone informed, so there are no surprises and expectations can be tempered.

The preceding tips are not legal advice. However, an experienced attorney can advise you should you have questions about your individual situation.