Morning Sickness and Your Job

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 | Morning Sickness News Category | | Print This Article

Creative Commons License photo credit: Highways Agency

These days, most expectant moms have to work. It’s just the reality of the times we live in. We’d like to take a month or three off work until the morning sickness subsides. But who can afford to do that?

There’s no question: working can be tough when you feel like tossing your cookies every morning. It’s tough for you, and it can be tough for those around you. Fortunately, morning sickness (usually) only lasts a couple of months. Until it passes, here are some things you can do to make life better on the job:

  • Inform those around you of your morning sickness. At this stage, some of your coworkers might not even know you’re pregnant. Make sure those who have to work with you know that you’re in your first trimester and experiencing morning sickness. This is especially important of your bosses or supervisors. Make sure to also inform any coworkers who may have to cover for you while you duck in the ladies’ room.
  • Be aware of triggers and patterns. If you know what time of day you experience morning sickness, try to plan your breaks around it. If you know what kinds of smells or foods trigger morning sickness, stay away from them.
  • Know your rights. It’s not only wrong to discriminate against a woman for being pregnant; in most places it’s also against the law. We hope your workplace will handle your situation professionally. If they don’t, don’t be afraid to file a complaint.
  • Use sick days when you need them. That’s what they’re for. We guarantee you, people are calling in sick for much less legitimate reasons. If you’re vomiting or otherwise unable to function, it’s perfectly reasonable to call in sick.
  • Be reasonable in your expectations. A certain amount of accommodation is reasonable to expect from your employer. But understand that they still need to run their company efficiently. Be willing to work with them if they need to make changes. As long as they are treating you fairly, try to accommodate their needs as well.

How much accommodation is too much to expect? It depends on which side of the morning sickness you’re on. One woman in Scotland sued her employer and won after they let her go for missing almost a full month of work due to morning sickness.

What do you think? How much accommodation should employers make? How much is too much to ask?


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