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Can my employer change my schedule because I’m pregnant?

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

If you are pregnant, you may be wondering if your employer can change your work schedule. The answer to this question is complicated. In general, employers are allowed to make changes to an employee's work schedule if it is necessary for the business. However, there are some restrictions on what employers can do when it comes to pregnant employees.


In this blog post, we will discuss the laws that protect pregnant employees and outline what employers are allowed to do when it comes to scheduling changes.


Protections for Pregnant Workers

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This law applies to both private and public employers with 15 or more employees.

Under the PDA, pregnant employees are entitled to the same treatment as other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. This means that employers cannot treat pregnant employees differently than other employees who have a disability.


One of the protections offered by the PDA is that pregnant employees must be allowed to work until they reach the point where they are unable to perform their job duties. In other words, employers cannot force pregnant employees to take unpaid leave or terminate their employment just because they are pregnant.


Situations Where Accommodations May be Necessary

The PDA also requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees who need them. This could include things like allowing pregnant employees to work from home or providing light-duty assignments.


Pregnancy can cause a number of physical changes, such as fatigue, nausea, and back pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may need accommodations in order to continue working.


Additionally, pregnant employees may need accommodations if they have been advised by their doctor not to do certain activities or tasks at work. For example, if your doctor has advised you not to lift more than 20 pounds, your employer may need to adjust your work duties or provide a temporary light duty assignment. In such cases, you might actually be entitled to a change in your work schedule or duties.


If you are pregnant and need to discuss a work schedule change with your employer, it is important to know your rights. You can find more information about the PDA on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website.


My Office Will Stand Up for Your Rights

If you are a pregnant employee and your employer wants to change your work schedule, contact my office for advice. We can help you determine if the changes your employer is making are legal under the PDA and protect your rights if necessary.


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