HOUSTON, Texas. According to NPR, Walmart was recently sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly discriminating against pregnant workers. The lawsuit claims that the company failed to provide accommodations for its workers’ pregnancy-related medical needs. When it comes to accommodating pregnant workers, companies must provide their employees with similar accommodations that they provide to other temporarily disabled workers, or to workers with disabilities.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, workers who are pregnant may be entitled to receive accommodations if they are pregnant. Accommodations include breaks, light duty, shift changes, and permission to sit or stand. Workers may also be entitled to modifications of their duties, changed furniture, or the permission to work from home. Under the law, if your company offers accommodations to employees who have similar limitations as pregnancy, but doesn’t extend those accommodations to pregnant women, you may be able to make a complaint of pregnancy discrimination. This new law was put in place under a 2015 Supreme Court ruling that determined that pregnant women had the right to be treated in a manner similar to other disabled workers. The law applies to companies with 15 or more employees.
Women may also be entitled to receive accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities act if they have complications during pregnancy. In fact, women don’t need to have a permanent disability resulting from pregnancy in order to qualify for ADA accommodations. Whether you qualify for accommodations depends largely on whether your employer accommodates other workers with limitations. If you think you might need accommodations or light duty, you may want to speak to your doctor to see what accommodations are recommended. When it comes to making a complaint with the EEOC, documentation is essential. For example, women who are pregnant may need to request light duty or ask to temporarily work a position in which heavy lifting isn’t required. According to the lawsuit, Walmart failed to provide some of its pregnant workers unpaid leave, failed to make changes to workers’ job assignments when requested, failed to provide chairs to pregnant workers, and failed to honor requests for shorter work days or additional breaks. The EEOC found that Walmart provided accommodations to other workers but did not extend accommodations to pregnant women.
Moore & Associates are employment attorneys in Houston, Texas who assist workers who believe they may have suffered from discrimination on the job. Women who suffer from pregnancy discrimination can face a range of challenges. They can lose their health insurance, lose access to much-needed income during what is, for many, a major life transition, and may suffer major setbacks in their career advancement opportunities. Many experts believe that pregnancy discrimination may be one of the reasons why there is such a pay gap between women and men. If you believe you have suffered due to pregnancy discrimination in Houston, Texas, reach out to the employment lawyers at Moore & Associates today.
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