We have been representing moms for more than twenty years. The human lifecycle is multifaceted. We have periods when we are more focused on our health and loved ones and periods when we are more focused on our jobs. Under the law, to keep our jobs, we always need to perform the “essential functions of our jobs” even if we need “reasonable accommodation”. (See Americans With Disabilities Act)
Companies used to discriminate against pregnant women by denying them “light duty” when they needed it for the safety of their unborn child, even when they offered that option to employees with workplace injuries. Nick Roumel won a case in the Sixth Circuit on behalf of a pregnant employee changing the law on this point. The Supreme Court later ratified the decision in a separate case, Young v. UPS.
We still have vestiges of what constitutes a “normal” workplace life without reference to women who bear children. While fairness to other employees who don’t have children has sometimes raised an objection to altering the norm, we don’t raise those concerns when we keep employed people who have accidents resulting in injuries.
Our firm remains committed to expanding the US workplace to accommodate all people as they actually live their lives, with injuries, illnesses, grieving, bearing children, parenting them and aging.
Here’s an interesting article I recently read in the NY Times, “The Open Secret of Anti-Bias at Work” by Katherine Goldstein.