Can my employer require that I clock out to sit down while pregnant?

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Can my employer require that I clock out to sit down while pregnant?

I disclosed my pregnancy to my employer last week, as I have been having back and leg pain. I explained that I am not going to be able to work 7 hours on my feet without sitting down for a few minutes here and there. My boss told me that if I felt I needed to sit down, I would have to find someone to cover the desk for me, go in the back room, and clock out until I was ready to go back to the desk. Is my employer not required to provide reasonable accommodation? I’m not asking to be seated all day, just to sit for a few minutes when I need to, without having to hide and clock out to do so.

Asked on July 25, 2011 Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your employer does need to provide a reasonable accomodation; the question is, what constitutes a reasonable accomodation? If you can't do the job while seated, then it's not unreasonable to give you the opportunity to take time off your feet but require you to clock out; an employer does not need to a pay an employee for when she cannot or does not work. On the other hand, if it would be possible for you to do your job while sitting, then your employer should have to provide a chair or stool for you so you can work while getting off your feat; that would seem to be a reasonable accomodation under the circumstances.


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