Legal protection without FMLA?

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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

Answers:

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.).


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