Pregnancy Hostile work environment
Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:59 PM
I just have a question. For a pregnant worker, is it illegal to put them inside a control room with no access to a bathroom? The only bathroom available is 3 minutes down the hallway, and it takes 3-5 minutes for another person to actually come and relieve you from your duties in order to be able to use the bathroom? In that time theoretically, a pregnant person can pee on themselves, throw up due to morning sickness, and much much more. Is it illegal to do that when they have other open positions with bathrooms? Is it discrimination? Is it called being placed in a hostile work environment? Or is your employer able to do that to a pregnant woman with no recourse? Thanks!
Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:30 AM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:43 AM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:25 AM
That being said, if you are in New York State and you are simply experiencing a normal pregnancy then no I do not think that being 3 to 5 minutes from a bathroom would create a strong pregnancy discrimination claim. It might, however, be a failure in building codes.
Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:26 AM
You'll have to do better in terms of explaining, but so far you haven't said anything to indicate you sought a reasonable accommodation (even if you want to argue disability) and also how they refused to accommodate. Use of the term "hostile work environment" may or may not apply, but it doesn't tell us what we'd need to know to offer intelligent feedback.
"In that time theoretically, a pregnant person can pee on themselves..."
Well, yes, but there are ways to address this that don't involve needing to use a bathroom (if the situation with bladder control is desire, that's why they make Poise -- I'm not being snarky here, but plenty of pregnant women use that product at a certain point). As for throwing up and morning sickness, that won't rise to the level of a disability issue.
Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:37 PM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:48 PM
If an emergency arises, all the staff will be called away, and a trip to the bathroom can easily take up to a half hour or longer if there is a riot or fight. By then, you have peed and threw up all over yourself. I believe restricting access to a bathroom for a woman with a pregnancy disability is against the law. I just want to make sure.
It's not against federal law to place a pregnant woman in a control room without a bathroom if other employees would be placed in that control room in similar circumstances who are not pregnant. Pregnancy is not a disabiliity, and the normal "morning sickness" and bladder urgency that goes with it is also not typically a disability. Note that other, non pregnant employees might also have trouble holding their bladder or throwing up if they had to wait 30 minutes for relief; it's not a problem unique to preganancy. Other complications from pregnancy might be a disability, however, and that may require the employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for that.
Unless state law specifically provides that an employer has to provide immediate bathroom access to pregnant employees, it's not illegal to assign her to that control room just because she's pregnant. Unless she can show a disability that requires immediate bathroom access, she may be left to devising alternatives to deal with the throwing up (like air sickness bags, etc) and the bladder urgency, like the undergarments made for that purpose. Pregnant women have had to deal with all kinds of circumstances where a bathroom isn't immediately available, so it's not like this is extremely unusual.
Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:34 AM
So that means only if the doctor gives them a note saying must have immediate access to a bathroom, and THEN they don't comply, it's against the laws, correct? That is the problem. There is so many loop holes in law. It's hard to get justice anymore. It's easier to make your follow woman suffer. Sometimes, I don't think men understand what it is like for a woman giving birth to a child. Women give birth to men and future women. If they only knew, they would be more compassionate about it. Provide a better work environment. Sad!
Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:11 AM
If some dude was having a problem with his prostate and needed to use the bathroom and you can establish whomever assigns work spots would more than likely would assign him to a control room with a bathroom, that's more clear.
If you believe someone is deliberately fracking with you because you're a woman, then you file a complaint with the EEOC and state equivalent. |
"If they only knew, they would be more compassionate about it."
I wouldn't presume the audience is capable of any kind of compassion or emotional maturity; they possibly just don't care ... regardless of whether the supervisor is male or female. Females can be just as cold-hearted and may think "oh, just suck it up and wear Poise and carry a barf bag with you; you have to be tougher than the average girl to work in this environment, so if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."
Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:16 PM
Contact your agencies Equal Opportunity Officer or Disability Coordinator and request an accomodation in writing. Use the appropriate form to make your request. Have your doctor describe your disability and physical limitation. Make sure that he clearly indicates that your disability has resulted in incontenance and bladder control problems and that you are prevented from holding your bladder for ANY period of time. If your request for an accomodation is denied follow appeal procedures.
If you feel that you are being discriminated against due to your disability then seek EVERY avenue of recourse available to you all at the same time. File an internal complaint with Corrections. File a complaint with your State's Human Relations Commision. File a complaint with the federal EEOC office in your area. You can find the contact information on-line. However, you agency must also provide you with this information.
Internal complaint procedures are nice but they were put in place basically to protect the interest of the agency or private sector company for litigation. While you are waiting patiently for the resolution to an internal complaint, you may run out of time to file external complaints. Most complaints have a deadline for filing. For example, 90 days from the date of the last incident.
Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:35 AM
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Pregnant Workers Fairness Act’.[list]
SEC. 2. NONDISCRIMINATION WITH REGARD TO REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS RELATED TO PREGNANCY.
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a covered entity to--[list]
(1) not make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of a job applicant or employee, unless such covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of such covered entity;
(2) deny employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee, if such denial is based on the need of the covered entity to make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of an employee or applicant;
(3) require a job applicant or employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions to accept an accommodation that such applicant or employee chooses not to accept; or
(4) require an employee to take leave under any leave law or policy of the covered entity if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of an employee.
This Act would help the pregnant population a lot if it went into law. It would make it easier for a pregnant lady to get a post with a bathroom, or have a water bottle to keep hydrated. I urge everyone to contact their Senators and ask that this act be put into LAW! Being pregnant is a temporary condition. It's not forever! A little accommodations will not harm employers. I know for one, I am a hard dedicated worker, even being pregnant doesn't slow me down unless there is a complication. Which unfortunately there is! Sometimes it happens. So, in the meantime, THANK YOU ALL for your replies. This has been very enlightening!
Edited by FindLaw_AHK, 14 February 2013 - 07:26 AM.
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator
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