Tagged: Pregnancy and work
This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Brittany 1 year, 5 months ago.
December 27, 2013 at 5:48 PM #11098
I need some advice. I am 27 weeks pregnant and I am still working. I have had problems with this pregnancy since the beginning. Having said this, I feel that my job does not take certain things in consideration. I am constantly given combative patients, and this has resulted in injury. My first injury was a back injury and I filled out a workers comp. After this occurred I was treated worse by my manager and co-workers. I recently received another combative patient and was hit in the stomach. At the end of my shift I was heading to fill out an incident report, but fainted. I ended up in labor and delivery. Everything turned out to be ok. However, I am not sure what to do. My husband wants me to quit, but I do not know if we can afford me not having a job. I need some advice. Thank you.December 28, 2013 at 11:31 AM #11102
Jason Hautala RNMember
My department has adopted a “no light duty” policy. Either you can do your job or you can’t. I work in the ER, so we get our fair share of combative patients, and 500 pounders, and all kinds of nasty diseases. On a case by case basis we will rotate tasks so I don’t have to stick a foley into a 17 year old girl who really doesn’t want a man down there, and more often than not it is a guy that goes out to help someone out of their car, etc, but it really is unfair to your co-workers if you can’t function at a reasonable level and they have to take all of the combative patients, instead of spreading the joy.
We’ve had ladies work through their entire pregnancies in the ER, to the point I didn’t want to work with them anymore because I was afraid they were going to deliver right there …. icky. We have also had ladies that have quit early in their pregnancy because they were just too tired or didn’t want to expose themselves to all of the icky things in the ER.
The choice is up to you, but you need to look into your departments policy on light duty. If you can get it, great, but if there is no such thing as light duty, then don’t work past the point in which you can safely do your job.
Yeah, I’m a guy, so I’ll be hated for the above statements, but it holds true for post op patients who work as nurses just as well.December 28, 2013 at 6:15 PM #11103
Thank you for the advice. Your comment has encouraged me to do some research. It seems like our facilities might be breaking a few laws.
For example, I injured myself on the job( this light duty is not because of pregnancy). Through the hospital I have seen doctors who have told me to do light duty(at first only sit down duty). Under workers comp laws, employers are not allowed to fire an employee for this. In addition, an employer should try to find a position that fits this employee. If not then the employee receives workers comp pay. This site has good info on workers Comp. Unfortunately you have to read through the mess. (http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/workcomp.html)
Second, I would like to point out that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 also protects me. I should not get fired or forced to quit because I am pregnant. In addition, I am considered an employee with a short term disability. If my doctor says I need to do light duty then that should be taken into consideration. I should not be forced to do tasks that I cannot do. Now if this was a permanent condition then we have a different story. However it is important to remember people with disabilities are protected by law as well. (http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy.cfm) (http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/workcomp.html)
Other laws that protect pregnant women are the Americans with Disabilities Act (http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/ada.htm) the Family Medical Leave Act, and other state laws.
If those pregnant women in your ED felt discriminated against, were forced to quit, fired for being pregnant or bullied they can file a grievance with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (http://www.eeoc.gov/ ) I have to say that I am strongly considering filing a complaint myself.
I am able to still do my job. I should not be bullied, discriminated against, forced to quit because I am pregnant and injured. I have rights and no one is going to take that away.
Thank you.December 28, 2013 at 8:05 PM #11104
Jason Hautala RNMember
Thanks for all of the research … I hope it all works out well for you. The ladies in my ER which have quit while pregnant did so voluntarily … nobody has ever been fired because of a pregnancy, but people have been taken off of the schedule during their “light duty” time after surgeries … none of which were job related that I know of. We have had people end up leaving due to job related injuries, but I don’t really know the details on those. As far as I know, my hospital has acted within the law in this regard.
I was just stating that people shouldn’t show up to work for a position in which they can not perform the assigned duties …. but if you were hurt on the job, by all means you should be covered under L&I. Good luck.
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