How To Create Pregnancy Accommodation Guidelines

large_6829496615Does your company have a set policy as to how pregnant employees are accommodated? Because every case could be different, it’s important to have guidelines in place and have key leaders well educated on these guidelines so, together, employee and employer can come up with a win/win solution. In this blog, read about what you need to know about creating pregnancy accommodation guidelines, according to an article I found in HR Magazine.

When a woman finds out she’s expecting, it should be an exciting time and cause for celebration. However, if she’s in a financial situation that requires dual income or is reliant on her sole income, announcing her pregnancy to her employer can be quite nerve-wracking. On the flip side, managers can become worried as well if they’re not sure how the work environment needs to adjust for the pregnant employee. Make sure everyone is on the same page by following these tips when creating your pregnancy accommodation guidelines:

Informing & interacting – When an employee informs her employer of her pregnancy, it’s important to have an open dialogue. Document your conversations and any pre-pregnancy performance issues. That way your notes will be clear should an unfair treatment claim arise. Keep the dialogue open for the duration of the pregnancy to ensure everyone is on the same page as to how she’s feeling. It’s also important to balance a fine line of accommodations. Managers shouldn’t make accommodation decisions for her because it could show a bias against pregnant women. However, if performance is being affected, managers should have a conversation around making accommodations so the employee can perform her job and the company still profits.

When requests arise – When an employer is presented with an accommodation request, the manager or employer should look at it just as they would for an accommodation request for a back injury or cancer treatments. Accommodations should be reasonable from both the employer and employee’s point of view. Job descriptions provide an excellent base line to determine if an accommodation fits within the original description, or if a temporary job position adjustment is warranted.

When creating pregnancy accommodation guidelines, be sure to follow the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act to ensure your guidelines comply.

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