HR Policies & Procedures

Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Employees

Yesterday we learned about recent Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines concerning pregnant employees. Today we’ll hear some of the guidelines provided by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

JAN’s guide provides helpful advice for dealing with issues such as:

Fatigue:

  • Reduce or eliminate physical exertion and workplace stress.
  • Schedule periodic rest breaks away from the workstation.
  • Modify policy to allow eating/drinking at workstation.
  • Provide antifatigue matting on the floor if standing.
  • Implement ergonomic workstation design.
  • Provide a private rest area to lie down during breaks.

Attendance:

  • Allow flexible schedules, reduced work schedules, or flexible use of leave time.
  • Modify attendance policy.
  • Provide a straight shift instead of rotating shifts.
  • Provide a day shift.
  • Allow the employee to work from home.

Standing:

  • Provide a stool, lean stool, or task chair.
  • Provide adjustable workstations to alternate between standing and sitting.
  • Allow frequent, short breaks to walk around.
  • Provide antifatigue matting on the floor.
  • Limit standing time.
  • Temporarily modify duties.

Nursing/Pumping:

  • Allow reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk each time the employee has need to do so.
  • Provide a private place, other than a restroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used to express breast milk.
  • Allow periodic rest breaks away from the workstation.
  • Provide access to a refrigerator and a secure place to store expressed milk.
  • Allow to travel with a cooler.
  • Allow work from home.
  • Allow a flexible schedule.

For more information and tips on accommodation of other pregnancy-related issues, such as nausea, restroom use, parking, ergonomics, and more, go to JAN’s website.