Legal protection without FMLA?

Wife started a new job. She is pregnant.
Employer does not know yet. It doesnt appear
that she would be protected by the FMLA.
Anything she can and should do to protect
herself if anything?

Asked on January 7, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If not covered by FMLA, she is still covered by the anti-discrimination laws: pregnancy is considered a (temporary) disability for purposes of those laws, so she is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The ADA will NOT give her the right to take time off due to her pregnancy or childbirth or childcare: she will have to use paid time off (PTO) she earns for those purposes, or call out sick (if her company allows that), or work it out voluntarily with her employer.
What the ADA will do is prevent her from being fired, suspended, demoted, or harassed, etc. due to being pregnant; and also require the employer to make certain "reasonable accommodations" to how her job is done if she needs them, to let her do the job while pregnant (e.g. avoid lifting heavy objects, so long as that isn't a core or critical part of her job; more bathroom breaks, if she needs them; etc.).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.