Pregnant worker accommodations are work adjustments such as more frequent breaks or light carry duty that allow pregnant women to do their jobs safely, without jeopardizing their health or the health of their babies.
benefit to employers
Provides benefit to employee at no– or low-cost to employer
Increases retention, reducing turnover costs
Reduces employee absenteeism
Reduces health care costs
Reduces litigation costs
Increases employee commitment and satisfaction
benefit to families
Improves mother’s health and safety and lowers risk for miscarriage
Improves family economic security
case study: Padilla
Pregnancy support sparks gratitude among employees balancing health and work considerations
In a female-dominated industry, where most employees are between 25 and 45 years old, Padilla is experienced in navigating pregnancy accommodations.
“Just this week, an employee told us she needed to go out on leave for three weeks starting the next day,” said Kara Amit, Vice President of Human Resources. “She is 8 weeks pregnant, suffering and unable to work.”
Employees who require pregnancy accommodations meet with Armit to discuss their options. She helps them determine what will work best for their particular situation. To take time off pregnant employees might use short-term disability, vacation or sick time, or unpaid leave. They also can pursue a reduced schedule, if they prefer to continue working.
When Kristen Spargo went into preterm labor at 31 weeks with her twins, the then-director of Padilla’s health care practice was hospitalized for five days. Thankfully, her doctors were able to stop labor from progressing further, and she returned home to strict bed rest.
“Padilla allowed me to work remotely at a time when that was uncommon,” said Spargo. “The flexibility meant I could adhere to my doctor’s recommendations, giving my babies another five weeks before delivery — and I didn’t have to cut into my maternity leave. To this day, 13 years later, I’m so grateful for their support.”
Armit also finds employees appreciate the accommodations during their pregnancies. In many cases, they’re also relieved, as they want to continue to do their best work.
“The old-school view was that women weren’t coming back after having a baby,” said Armit. “But that's not what we see. Our employees are often excited to return, and we want them to feel positive about their job and the company.”
In the current environment, retaining employees is particularly important.
“It’s short-sighted to risk losing high-performing, highly efficient female workers during this critical — and temporary — time of their life,” said Armit. “In fact, if you’re not willing to offer flexibility in general, you’ll lose talent. More and more employees are looking to achieve work-life balance.”
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Industry: Public Relations
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