Tips for Texas employees working while pregnant
Pregnant women and those who employ them should understand the right and wrong way to provide accommodations and truly help rather than hinder.
Pregnancy can be just as tricky for female employees as it is their Texas employers. While pregnancy does not automatically mean a woman can no longer work in her current position, certain accommodations may be required. Knowing what those specific accommodations are is essential for both worker and employer. A lack of proper information and knowledge could lead to an accidental violation of employee rights.
There is a right way and a wrong way for employers to offer help
A research project conducted by Harvard Business Review revealed that employers who make too much of an effort to help pregnant workers can prove detrimental to workers’ self-esteem and performance. This is because the women surveyed felt an employer’s overzealous efforts to assist them solidified their concerns of not being able to work due to their pregnancy. Pregnant women often have to prove they can still work not only to themselves, but to their employers as well, which can also complicate matters.
Practical help is often best
Rather than treating pregnant women as invalids, it is more beneficial to focus more on practical assistance. Employers should do what they can to accommodate a pregnant worker’s doctor’s appointments and help her manage pregnancy symptoms. Such steps are often more beneficial than those that may diminish challenges or take away advancement opportunities for women at work.
Conditions related to pregnancy have to be addressed at work, which can go a long way in making a woman feel more comfortable and capable at work. For instance, letting pregnant women stretch a couple of times a day and switch between standing and sitting can help address back pain. Pregnant employees should also take breaks from typing to prevent carpal tunnel, and using a padded roll while typing on a keyboard can also help.
To combat varicose veins, support hose, drinking water and foot props can offer relief. Hemorrhoids triggered by pregnancy can be handled with foods rich in fiber and chair cushions. As for morning sickness, pregnant workers should do everything possible to avoid known triggers. Drinking ginger ale or ginger tea and eating crackers are recommended for nausea.
Providing help when it is requested
Something else employers can do is wait until a pregnant employee asks for specific help or accommodations. This may be preferable to essentially making decisions for a pregnant employee and taking away her choices. Once a specific request is made, negotiating and ensuring the pregnant woman knows she is still in complete control is often the best route.
Female employees in Texas who feel they may have been discriminated against because of their pregnancy should know and protect their rights. Sitting with an experienced attorney is a great place to start.