Pregnant women face unique risks in the workplace. Those risks vary depending on the environment they work in. There are a wide range of hazards that could cause harm to the baby or to the woman herself, and these may range from physical activities to certain chemical or radiation hazards. There is a fine balance between protecting a pregnant woman in the workplace and trampling on her workplace rights.
For example, although most employees may not be at risk when exposed to low levels of lead or radiation, a pregnant woman and her fetus might face a health risk. That is why a woman should inform her employer of her pregnancy. A developing fetus may be especially vulnerable to exposure to certain chemicals, especially during the early stages of pregnancy. Likewise, a pregnant woman may experience enhanced risks to her immune system, lungs, and even her ligaments, depending on the hazard.
Employers have a duty to protect their employees from any situation that could cause harm, but when a pregnancy is added to the mix, the risks can be different and more pronounced. For employers, it is a fine balance because they must protect their pregnant employees from known risks, but they cannot endanger that employee’s livelihood while doing so. A pregnant employee must either request or agree to be removed from a duty or a hazard that exposes her or her baby to a hazard. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination that is based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. If a pregnant employee cannot perform the necessary functions of her role at work, reasonable accommodations or re-assignment to another open position can be arranged.If you believe your rights have been compromised at work because of your pregnancy, we can help. We will hold the responsible parties accountable when your rights are not respected. To learn more, contact the Philadelphia pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Please call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free evaluation of your case. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.