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Pittsburgh offers special protections for pregnant women

Employers in Pittsburgh have to ensure that they are complying with federal and state labor laws, but they also have one more level of laws to consider. They must comply with city codes that provide some protections for specific workers. One group of individuals who have special protections is pregnant women.

The Pittsburgh passed an ordinance unanimously that place some requirements on private employers. It is modeled after several federal acts, but it is one of the first cities to include city ordinances in these protections. Before the implementation of the new ordinance, the city's code already forbade employers who have at least five employees from discriminating against pregnant women, but city officials didn't feel this was good enough for mothers-to-be.

The new ordinance forces employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant women. The only exception to having to do this is if you are able to show that the necessary accommodations would cause undue hardship on your company.

Some examples of accommodations that might be necessary include modifying the schedule of the woman, altering the duties she must perform, changing things in her workstation to meet her needs and providing her with time off for leave when necessary. The woman must be provided with a safe method of requesting these accommodations.

Employers have a fine line to walk with this area. They can't reject the accommodations for no reason, and they can't retaliate against the woman if she does ask for accommodations. A woman who feels she is being discriminated or retaliated against does have the option of taking legal action against the employer, which means you will have a legal battle on your hands.

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