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Pregnancy & Maternity Leave

We are a small mycotoxin laboratory – less than 50 employees – mycotoxins are molds which can be harmful to unborn babies. We need suggestions of how to word a policy fjor our handbook that if you become pregnant you will keep your job but you cannot work in the lab. We will assign them different duties. Unfortunately this may prove difficult at times. Struggling with the best way to state this.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate against a pregnant woman based on the fact of her condition. A policy should be written for the protection of all of your employees, including those on temporary disability. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act does not specifically require an employer to transfer a pregnant employee to a different position (light duty or part time) to accommodate pregnancy. However, if you create a policy or practice that normally allows an employee with a temporary medical condition to transfer to a different position to accommodate their condition, then you should do the same for a pregnant employee.

When it comes to reporting requirements, you cannot have more stringent rules for pregnant employees than for any other disabled employee. Typically, if you require a 30 day reporting notice for normal disability leave, then you only need to require that amount of time for a pregnancy disability.  However, due to the circumstances of your work environment, you can urge employees to report quickly in order to accommodate them and reduce any risks. It should be clearly defined in your policy about the health risks and hazards associated with mycotoxin.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 30th, 2013 at 2:36 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management.
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