Must pregnant workers wear uncomfortable uniforms?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | Discrimination At Work

Pregnant workers unfortunately still face discrimination in the workplace today. Because of that, employers need to brush up on what does and does not count as discrimination against pregnant workers to avoid making missteps.

One such potential issue revolves around uniforms. After all, pregnant workers cannot always fit into a uniform, which sometimes causes trouble.

Can pregnant workers wear the uniform?

The New York Times discusses the comfort of a worker’s uniform and the role of clothes during pregnancy. Generally speaking, there are some types of clothing that pregnant workers literally cannot wear or fit into during different stages of their pregnancy.

There are also uniforms that make it hard for people to feel comfortable or do their job without experiencing discomfort or even mild pain, even if they can still technically fit into the uniform.

What happens if they refuse to wear it?

In such situations, an employer may initially want to enforce the dress code. However, if they want to try firing a worker for not wearing the uniform due to a pregnancy, they need to think twice.

This is textbook pregnancy discrimination. After all, if a worker gets fired because they cannot wear a uniform due to pregnancy, it is the pregnancy itself that led to them getting fired. If they were not pregnant, they could have kept their uniform and thus their job, relating the firing directly to the pregnancy.

Instead, it is much better for employers to work with pregnant employees and ensure they have a safe environment throughout their pregnancy. This can keep the pregnant worker happy and the employer our of legal trouble.