If you are an expectant or a new mother in Texas who has or is looking for a job, you should learn about your rights. Your pregnancy or your status as the parent of a newborn should in no way negatively impact your work or your ability to find work.
Pregnant and new mothers may be protected against harassing or discriminatory actions by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Pregnancy and disabilities
As explained by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pregnancy may be considered or treated as a disability when it comes to workplace laws. This means that an employer should be prepared to and willing to adjust your work tasks or environment as needed to accommodate your pregnancy or any condition related to your pregnancy. For example, if you need to sit instead of stand more frequently as your pregnancy progresses, this should be allowed. Failure to make such accommodations may be deemed discrimination. The same holds true if you develop medical conditions related to your pregnancy like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.
In addition to reasonable accommodations when pregnant, you should expect fair treatment in other areas of your employment. For example, your pregnancy should not factor into decisions regarding promotions, pay raises, job transfers or other benefits. If you are applying for a job while pregnant, an employer should not deny hiring you simply because you are pregnant.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give pregnant women or new mothers in Texas an overview of the laws that aim to protect them against unlawful discrimination or harassment at work.