What rights do you have as a pregnant woman in the workplace?

Pregnancy discrimination laws exist to give pregnant women, or women experiencing pregnancy-related health issues, certain rights and protections while at work. As long as you work for an employer that maintains a staff of at least 15 people, that employer must abide by the terms set by two specific rulings.

Per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, your employer must follow the guidelines set by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Title 1 of the Americans With Disabilities Act as it relates to women who have pregnancy-related disabilities.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act protections

The PDA dictates that your employer must treat you the same way he or she would anyone else who had a non-pregnancy-related condition that impacted his or her ability to work. Your employer may not fire or demote you because of your pregnancy status. He or she also may not change anything with regard to your benefits simply because you are pregnant. The PDA also dictates that your employer may not discriminate against you for being pregnant or for having been pregnant, among other protections it offers.

Americans With Disabilities Act protections

The ADA protects you from potentially having your employer discriminate against you for having an impairment related to your pregnancy. It also dictates that he or she must make reasonable accommodations to make your job easier, given your current condition. This might mean giving you lighter duties temporarily or allowing you to work remotely.

While this provides a general overview of your workplace protections relating to pregnancy, this is not an exhaustive list of all the protections these acts provide.