What Are My Rights As A Pregnant Employee?

A woman tells her employer that she is pregnant and that her doctor has told her that she should not work, or that her work duties should be restricted, due to her pregnancy or due to associated medical conditions. Her employer tells her that it will not grant her leave, or that it will not accommodate her restrictions, due to company policy.

Is this legal? Not under New Hampshire law.

New Hampshire law extends greater protections to pregnant employees than federal law. Under federal law, employers must only give the same protections and benefits to their employees as they do to other employees afflicted with temporary disabilities. New Hampshire law goes further. New Hampshire employers must give pregnant employees leave, and must keep their jobs open for them, for so long as they experience medical conditions associated with their pregnancies that render them unable to work or that restrict their ability to perform certain job duties. The employer can only avoid liability for breach of this duty if it can prove “business necessity” to replace the pregnant employee.

An employer who violates a pregnant woman’s rights under New Hampshire law can face liability for lost wages, emotional distress, humiliation and inconvenience, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and attorney’s fees.

If your employer has fired you due to your inability to perform some or all of your job duties due to a pregnancy-related medical condition, you should consult a New Hampshire attorney experienced in employment discrimination law. We only represent employees in employment cases so please contact us to help you. Call us at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online Contact Form.


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