Pennsylvania employees injured are typically eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. When their claims are approved, employees can receive payments for medical costs associated with the injury, plus wage loss replacement and other kinds of compensation. What happens if the claimant is expecting a child, however?
Employers cannot deny, limit, or reduce workers’ compensation claims solely based on an employee’s pregnancy; you likely know that this is a form of discrimination. There are federal laws that prohibit companies from denying these benefits for work injuries to pregnant workers:
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
In addition, Pennsylvania has two state laws that offer the same protections:
- Pennsylvania Human Relations Act: This prohibits employment discrimination based on sex.
- City of Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinances: For these laws, employers need to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for workers who have needs relating to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.
Workers’ Compensation Claims Related to Pregnancy
For the most part, female employees cannot make claims under worker’s compensation simply for being pregnant. Things are different when there is an injury or illness directly related to their job responsibilities that occurs while they are pregnant.
Still, the employee may be eligible if there are complications from work-related matters that affect a pregnancy. The expectant mother might need to take more time off in addition to her maternity leave because of the injury or illness. If a third party shares responsibility for the employee’s condition, there might be cause for a lawsuit.
Can I Ask My Employer for Accommodations?
The Fair Practice Ordinance in Philadelphia specifies that most employers should make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. They either provide them or must prove they cannot; the employee just needs to ask.
Reasonable accommodations are changes in your current working conditions to help you perform your job’s essential functions while pregnant and after the baby is born. However, it cannot cause the employer undue hardship. Here are a few accommodations that usually qualify as reasonable:
- A leave of absence if you have a medical disability after the child is born.
- Assistance with manual labor, like carrying heavy items.
- Breaks to sit down, drink water, or use the restroom.
- Restructuring of your job or reassignment to another position if your doctor determines that the working conditions are unsafe for the pregnancy or the work involves harmful substances.
- Unpaid leave when you need bed rest.
Bear in mind that every employee’s situation is different. The goal is to help you complete your job responsibilities while keeping you and your baby healthy.
Contact a Pottstown Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC if You Need Help With a Claim
If you were injured at work and need legal help, contact a knowledgeable Pottstown workers’ compensation lawyer at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Call 610-594-1600 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.