For most women it will be perfectly safe to continue working during your pregnancy with no changes. However, there are some jobs out there that are just not safe for pregnant women. The job itself, or other environmental factors surrounding the job could be damaging to the baby growing inside of you. Women in these unsafe jobs will need to request a change in position for the duration of their pregnancy or determine what can be done to make their job safe during their pregnancy. It is important to remember that an employer cannot discriminate against you because of your pregnancy, meaning they cannot fire you or lower your pay simply because you are pregnant and asking for a temporary change in position.
Before you talk to your employer about your need to change jobs be sure to educate yourself on your rights and how you are protected under the law. Do some research of your own and then talk to your human resources department. Your employer may not be happy about your request to change jobs during your pregnancy but you need to do what is right and safe for you and your growing baby.
Jobs that are unsafe for pregnant women include:
- Any job where you are working with hazardous chemicals such as pesticides, toxic cleaning solutions, lead, second hand smoke, etc.
- Any position where you are doing heavy lifting.
- Any position where you are exposed to radiation.
- Any position where you are at risk of falling or being struck by heavy objects.
- Any position that has you climbing a ladder or some other similar device.
- Any position where you are exposed to large amount of germs that could cause serious illnesses.
Here are a few of the specific jobs that are unsafe for pregnant women:
- Dry Cleaners
- Factory work where there is chemical exposure, too much heavy lifting, or a risk for falls.
- Print Shops
- Craft shops that expose you to drying chemicals, paints, etc.
- Highway worker
- Toll Booth operators.
- Certain Healthcare fields
Your employer is required to disclose all dangerous contaminants in the workplace and to protect pregnant women from being exposed to dangerous contaminants. If you feel your job is putting your pregnancy at risk talk to your employer, your human resources department, your doctor and anyone else you may be able to help you get into a temporary position in your company that is safe for you and your pregnancy.
For more information on workplace safety during pregnancy, what your rights as a pregnant employee are and what you can do to protect yourself during your pregnancy visit the follow government websites.