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Three things every pregnant employee should know

While the U.S. economy appears to be adding more jobs this summer, the struggles that pregnant women have in finding (and keeping) jobs is largely ignored. Basically, not every employer wants to hire a pregnant woman. Additionally, some employers do not understand the rules that protect pregnant workers and prohibit certain actions against them. Because of this, it is important for pregnant workers to know their rights and be able to protect themselves against overzealous employers.

This post will provide some helpful tips.

Know the size of your company - Having a basic idea of how many employees are in your company is important because federal anti-pregnancy discrimination laws apply to those who have at least 15 employees. For example, the Family Medical Leave Act applies to employers who have at least 50 employees working within a 75 mile radius.

Review your employee handbook - Chances are that your handbook will include provisions for maternity leave, as well as, time off for prenatal appointments. If there is no handbook, it is important to talk with your supervisor to discuss your restrictions.

Don't be afraid to ask for time off - It is expected that you may need time off to deal with the unexpected aches, pains and nausea that comes with a pregnancy. In these instances, it is important to keep everyone informed so that everyone can be on the same page.

While the preceding is not legal advice, it may help in avoiding unfair treatment in the workplace. Should you have questions, an experienced attorney can advise you.

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