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pregnant and work

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? TEXAS

I am now 7 months pregnant and work as a restaurant manager for a pizza place. We have dropped in sales and now the company is forcing me to work (I am salary) 60-70 hours/week. Can they legally do this and if I refuse and ask to work only 50 which is what we are suppose to work can they then fire me if we dont make our labor numbers? I basically am doing extra work on my feet all day and working 14 hour shifts in order to make my numbers.


I'm a Northern Girl
Your being pregnant does not give you any special rights with regards to work hours. You can be asked to work the same number of hours as any employee who is not pregnant. An exempt employee is required to work as many hours as it takes to get the job done. They have no legal entitlement to work only x number of hours and yes, they can be fired for refusing to work extra hours. (For that matter, neither does and so can a non-exempt employee; the only difference is that a non-exempt employee must receive overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a work week.)


Junior Member
One last question regarding hours... My doctor has asked for me to work no more than 40 hrs /week because of the high risk I am in. (complications) I asked her not too since I could not afford a great pay cut. Can the company then fire me then with a medical note? if I am not able to comply with the 20 - 30 xtra hours they would want to cut off our schedule? Thanks


I'm a Northern Girl
A doctor's note has no force in law unless either FMLA or the ADA is involved, and even then it needs to conform to certain specifications. A note saying, "Mary Jane is not to work over 40 hours a week, signed, Doctor Jones" is not sufficient.

It is unlikely (not impossible, but unlikely) that the ADA applies here since for the most part pregnancy is not considered a disability and therefore the ADA does not apply. It is possible, unlikely but possible, that the high risk factor might invoke the ADA, but unless you are put on mandatory bedrest that possibility is too remote to waste any time on.

FMLA, however, is a possibility. You will need your doctor to certify the medical necessity of your limiting your hours, and it would probably be best to use the forms provided by the US DOL. These forms are not mandatory but would make it quite clear that your request is falling under FMLA. If your employer says, we won't accept these forms; you have to use our forms, then fine, go along with that and use their forms, even if it means getting forms filled out twice. But start with the DOL forms - to get them, go to this link, scroll down to where it says Forms and click on that.


If your doctor will certify this necessity in this way and under this law, you should be able to take FMLA intermittantly to keep your hours down.

Please note that FMLA is not indefinite or unlimited. You are limited to a total of 12 weeks per 12 month period, and this INCLUDES the time off that you will need when you deliver. FMLA can and does go right along with any disabilty or maternity leave you take; you don't get 12 weeks of FMLA and then x weeks of disabilty leave unless your employer is willing to do it that way. Some do; I'm not saying it's impossible. But your legal right is only to 12 weeks total, not 12 weeks plus. So any time you take now, will be less time you are guaranteed when you actually have the baby.

As long as you are on FMLA, your job security is guaranteed to the point of the leave itself; you cannot be fired or demoted or even given a lateral but undesirable transfer BECAUSE you applied for or took FMLA. If, however, something should happen that would mean your job was termed or changed that had nothing to do with your FMLA (say, for example, the company was sold or acquired or lost a major customer that affected the organization of the company) the fact that you are on FMLA does not protect you from any changes that would have happened anyway.

When your FMLA expires, your employer may legally fire you or change your job position or duties, regardless of the legitimacy of the need for additional medical leave. I'm not saying they will; not all or even most employers term/demote/transfer on week 13 day 1. But they CAN (as long as they do so for all employees on FMLA and not just the pregnant ones, but that's a whole different law :) )

I know this is confusing; if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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