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3 reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Employment Law

Pregnancy is a phase of life that can potentially be filled with anticipation, excitement and the joy of welcoming a new addition to the family. Yet, the world doesn’t stop spinning as a pregnancy develops. Work obligations and duties must be fulfilled and many pregnant employees continue working during this time.

To better ensure the well-being of pregnant employees and maintain their productivity, it’s important for employers to provide reasonable accommodations tailored to their needs. Accommodations differ, but the following are among the most commonly requested.

Permission to work remotely

Permission to work remotely can be a valuable accommodation for pregnant employees, especially during times when the nature of their work allows for it. This arrangement enables pregnant employees to perform their job duties from the comfort of their own homes, reducing the need for commuting and minimizing exposure to potential workplace hazards. Remote work also provides flexibility in managing pregnancy-related symptoms such as fatigue or morning sickness, allowing employees to adjust their schedules as needed while still fulfilling their work obligations.

Adjusted work schedules

The needs of pregnant employees may vary throughout their pregnancy, and adjusting work schedules to accommodate these changes can greatly support their well-being. Employers can offer flexible start and end times, shorter or compressed workweeks or the option to shift to part-time hours temporarily. These adjustments allow pregnant employees to attend prenatal appointments, manage pregnancy-related symptoms and prioritize self-care without sacrificing their job responsibilities.

Workplace adjustments

The immediate environment in which pregnant employees work can significantly impact their physical well-being. Employers can make accommodations such as providing ergonomic furniture, adjustable workstations and supportive seating to promote proper posture and reduce strain on the body. Also, ensuring easy access to restrooms and designated rest areas can help pregnant employees manage frequent bathroom breaks and moments of fatigue. Employers may also consider modifying job duties or tasks that involve heavy lifting or prolonged standing to minimize the risk of injury or discomfort.

If you are a pregnant employee in Indiana, the law protects your right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace under various anti-discrimination laws, such as the Indiana Pregnancy and Childbirth Accommodation and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Seeking legal guidance is a great way to learn more.