What accommodations does my employer have to make for me if I’m pregnant?

Under federal law, your employer cannot discriminate against you- that is, it can’t treat you any differently than it treats a non-pregnant employee.  However, it doesn’t have to make accommodations for you that it wouldn’t make for non-pregnant employees.  This is different from the provisions of disability law, under which employers have an affirmative duty to make reasonable changes to allow a disabled worker to keep his or her job.

For example, if your job requires climbing on ladders and you don’t want to because you are pregnant, there’s no provision of federal law that requires an employer to allow you to skip this task as long as your employer requires everyone else to do it.  While many people argue that federal disability law should cover pregnancy, Read an article posted on CNN and this article posted on takepart, most courts do not count pregnancy as a disability.

That said, pregnant women are protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and, in Connecticut, the Fair Employment Practices Act.  These laws require employers to provide a reasonable maternity leave and prohibit discrimination such as termination and demotion on the basis of pregnancy.

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