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Miscarriages and employment law

Sadly, about one in ten pregnancies in Idaho end in miscarriages. Losing a baby in this manner can cause devastating emotional injuries with no predictable recovery time. Physical symptoms after a miscarriage typically last about two weeks, and doctors often recommend patients take it easy for about six to eight weeks after such an event.

Going back to work after a miscarriage

There are many factors that can prolong the grieving period after a miscarriage, and every mother’s emotional recovery will be different. For some women, jumping right back into work after recovering physically from a miscarriage is not possible. Depending on the type of work a woman does, a fragile emotional state can make returning to work very difficult.

Some employers are understanding and provide plenty of time off for workers who have had miscarriages. However, other employers are less sympathetic and expect women to get back to work as soon as they have recovered physically from a miscarriage.

How employment law treats a miscarriage

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, your employer cannot discriminate against you because you had a miscarriage. Federal employment laws also entitle you to accommodations for your condition and up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if you work for a company with at least 50 employees.

The problem is that a lot of women who have miscarriages already took part of their unpaid leave time, and some employers are unwilling to provide them with more leave. Some employers are also unwilling to provide accommodations for miscarriages unless they result in diagnosed physical symptoms. If a woman who has had a miscarriage can prove that her experience resulted in a temporary disability, she may be entitled to protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act.