Is this legal?

  1. hi everybody! i am currently 31 weeks pg and started having pre-term labor when i was only 23 weeks along.to make a long story short i had to be off work for about 4 weeks. i finally got the ok from my dr. (around 27-28 weeks by then) that i could go back to work for 4 hours a day up to 20 hrs. a week with no heavy lifting. i talked to my don and adon who said they didn't have a problem with that and that i could do "flex" -which is basically calling dr's and writing orders, faxing labs, etc. which is a big help to the charge nurse. the don told me he would have to talk to the administrator first and get the ok. this was on a wed. and he told me to give him a call back on fri. to see what she had said. the next day the don called me and told me that the adminisrtator said for me to just "stay home and take care of myself and that the baby should be my #1 priority." well, for any of you that know me by now- i have had problems with the administrator for a while now b/c the baby has been my #1 priority all along and she never cared about my unborn child's well-being before. my question then is can she do that? can she not let me come back to work even though i have a dr.'s note saying that it's ok? it just does not seem legal to me. any insight would be great! thanks!
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    you might want to post this under the legal nursing forum and ask if it's discriminatory...good luck.
  4. by   kids
    I am pretty sure that the employer is not obligated to supply a "light duty" position to accomidate a pregnancy.
  5. by   nursemaa
    According to our HR: An employer is only required to provide "light duty" for worker's comp cases, not for other types of medical conditions.
  6. by   renerian
    This is my thoughts. I would never let a preggo work if she had problems. 1. because something may happen to the mom or baby for which I would never forgive myself 2. People who do come back to work with a note still tend to do more than they should in the interest of trying to " help people out:. Not intentionally but because they feel they will be :"okay:.

    I would rest. You would not be able to forgive yourself if something happened.

    I was on bedrest for 5 months with my dtr.. LONGGGGGGGGGG 5 months

    renerian
  7. by   gypsyatheart
    Are you on FMLA? Your employer probably falls under those guidelines. It is mandated by the federal government. They do have a website, sorry I don't have it offhand. Do a google under: family medical leave act.
    Good luck!
  8. by   oceanblue
    Employers don't have to supply a light duty position for pregnancy, only for worker's comp injuries.
  9. by   BittyBabyGrower
    I checked our HR manual...they don't have to change any duties unless it is worker's comp. What type of unit do you work on? We are pretty accomodating to our preggos...we try to give them a bit easier assignment, but sometimes we just can't do it.
  10. by   Angela Mac
    It sounds like they are blowing you off, because they realize there is some liability for you and your baby & they don't want a workman's comp suit, if anything happens.
  11. by   Agnus
    Accomodation and light duty are not mandated by any law that I know of.

    Under ADA you have to provide reasonable accomodation to those with certain disabilities if you employ more than (I believe it's 15 people)

    Pregnancy even an at risk one is not considered a disability.

    As far as worker's comp. Actually there is no law that says they have to provide you with light duty. They do it because the insurance companies that pay for worker's comp kind of push for employers to do it. You see either the employer employs the injured worker with duty they can do and pays for it or the insurance company must pay for lost wages (granted it is not your full wages but still) So, unless employers want thier insurance company to drop them, they keep you employed inorder to keep thier insurance (which they must have by law).

    Yes, you can be let go. Unless you have a contract with your employer they can let you go for any reason or no reason at all. It is called "at will" employment. You can file a suit for wrongful termination but unless there is something very unusual going on it is not likely you will get anywhere with that. Bottom line is you cannot do the job you were hired for and they do not have to keep you.
  12. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Minimizing risk is part of the responsibility of the manager and administrator--hospitals don't stay open if there is a negative cash flow!

    What you describe as light duty sounds like unit secretary work to me. Maybe they don't want to pay a nurse's salary for clerking? Also a responsible decision by the manager or administrator.

    I don't think you lose a thing if you assume your administrator has your best interests at heart if that what she says. There may be other reasons as well, but what difference does it make, if the important thing is for you and your baby to be OK?

    It does sound like a high risk situation--put your baby first and take care of yourself. The hospital will still be there when you get back. (And you won't have had another run in with the administrator--maybe she will see you in a new and more cooperative light???)

    Good luck to you!
  13. by   ham22
    thanks for all the info. i guess i should have known that there was probably nothing that i could do. this woman(the administrator) has just been looking for a way to get rid if me for a long time due to problems she had with my in-laws, nothing to do with me actually. then when i finally got pg she became extra hateful to me b/c my dr. did not want me around all the chemicals they were using to remodel the facility and i could not work the days they used them. (ceramic tile adhesive, paint, etc.)that shouldn't have even been a problem because we had plenty nurses that wanted my hours.but, she began to single me out. i won't go in to all the details that would take waaaaaay to long. also what really gets me is that the position they(don &adon) said i could work would not actually be light duty.it is basically doing paperwork all day. it would just be a shorter shift for me. i never had to do any heavy lifting before so that wouldn't be a problem either. just this week i saw in the paper that they are hiring nuses-lpn's and rn's. how lovely. it just really frustrates me that i have put my heart and soul into that place and this is the thanks i get. now i don't think i even want to go back there at all. i will miss my residents so much though! i guess i will cross that bridge when i come to it. iwas planning on taking maternity leave at the end of this month but i guess i will just relax and get ready for the baby earlier than planned. thanks to every one for listening.
  14. by   P_RN
    I only did light duty work once after a shoulder injury at work. They had me filing and answering telephones.....at a clerk's pay rate. Most of the time they just tell you to stay home and take the W/C money.

    As far as FMLA goes :If you are employed by someone who has 50+ employees within a 75 mile radius of your workplace, and you have worked there at least a year you may apply for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. If they offer health insurance you may have to pay the entire premium.

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