Pregnancy and Childbirth-related Accommodations
Are you pregnant or recovering from a recent childbirth and need a reasonable accommodation from your employer in order to fulfill the essential functions of your role? Has your employer denied a request for such an accommodation or mistreated you for making such a request?
Pregnant workers and those who have recently given birth often require accommodations in order to fulfill their roles and employers must provide such accommodations.
The Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and childbirth-related conditions. Commonly sought accommodations include changes to work schedules, longer or more frequent rest breaks, a private space for expressing milk, seating and equipment adjustments, assistance with manual labor or lifting, temporary transfers to less hazardous positions, reassignment to other roles, and additional time off for recovery from childbirth or related conditions. In addition, the IHRA does not allow employers to force a covered employee to accept an accommodation that she did not request or agree to.
Employers may not terminate or take other adverse action against employees in retaliation for requesting reasonable accommodations, exercising their rights under the IHRA, or complaining about a violation of their IHRA rights.
In addition to the IHRA, federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and provides for protected parental leaves of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act. These statutes may provide pregnant employees additional means of obtaining the workplace accommodations they need.
Attorney Jeffrey Kmoch has experience litigating and counseling on pregnancy and childbirth-related workplace accommodations. If you believe you need a pregnancy or childbirth-related accommodation, have been denied such an accommodation, or believe you have been mistreated by your employer in connection with a request for such an accommodation, call today for a free consultation.
Statutes of limitations and deadlines to file administrative agency charges apply to claims related to pregnancy and childbirth accommodations, so time may be of the essence.