Iowans who are trying to balance their work life and their family obligations will often find there is a gap between the two. Taking time off for family considerations is a desire and a necessity at times, and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is meant to grant workers a certain amount of time off from work with their employment status protected from reprisal in the form of job loss, demotion and other sanctions. Women who become pregnant are shielded from discrimination and should be accorded certain accommodations due to their condition. The failure to do so could be a violation of the law and warrant a legal filing to be compensated.
Some employers might not grant their workers time off through FMLA. Those who meet the requirements for FMLA leave should understand their rights for job protection if they are punished for it or prevented from taking it. For example, a parent who has a new baby will be allowed to take a certain amount of time off to bond with the newborn. This is not limited to mothers who just gave birth. Fathers who would like time off to bond with a baby can take it under FMLA. Adopting a child can also allow time off under FMLA. Caring for a loved one who is ill, taking time off when the worker is ill and many other reasons can be used to justify FMLA.
Pregnant women are also shielded by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). With regards to employment, they are protected from being discriminated against when it comes to hiring, firing, being given work assignments and their pay. If a woman needs to use temporary disability because of her pregnancy, she can do so. This is categorized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If the pregnant woman needs a job switch or light duty, she should receive it.
Finally, harassing a pregnant employee, one who has recently had a child, or is receiving medical care because of pregnancy is illegal. If this happens in a workplace, the worker will have the right to consider a legal filing to be compensated. Anyone who has had an issue at work due to FMLA violations or was discriminated against due to pregnancy should consult with a legal professional experienced in workplace violations to consider a lawsuit.