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What does “reasonable accommodation” mean for pregnant employees?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2023 | Employment Law For Employees |

As an Illinois resident, you have the right to receive the pay you deserve while recovering from childbirth or pregnancy. These rights are protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act. And it applies to all pregnant employees or those with pregnancy-related conditions.

Accommodations for pregnant employees

Illinois prohibits discrimination against employees based on pregnancy or childbirth. This applies at all levels, from the state government to individual companies and employers. Pregnant employees, in particular, are legally entitled to reasonable accommodations at work. Meaning, employers must make necessary adjustments to help pregnant employees perform their jobs safely and comfortably. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:

  • Added breaks
  • Modified work schedules
  • Seating modifications
  • Modified job duties

Pregnant employees have specific needs to do their jobs properly. Engaging in a constructive conversation with their employer helps them get the accommodations they need.

Working toward comfort

Specific laws protect pregnant employees. And these laws require employers to treat them fairly. As such, your employer cannot discriminate against you or take negative actions because of your pregnancy. If you need adjustments made to your work environment due to your condition, you and your employer must work together to determine the necessary accommodations that can be provided to ease your concerns.

Requirement to request

To request a reasonable accommodation, talk with your employer and make your request within 30 days. A reasonable notice gives your employer time to fulfill your needs at work. Plus, you have legal rights as a pregnant employee. So, your employer cannot discriminate against you or shame you for asking.

Discrimination is a serious offense. And a violation of your rights is punishable under Illinois law. If you face discrimination or backlash, you can take legal action against your employer to protect your rights.