What are your rights as an employee? When are employees eligible for workers compensation? The answers are not always as straightforward as you may think, and — unfortunately — protections may be murkiest when employees need them most. For example, although there are several laws in place protecting pregnant employees, employers all over the world continue to violate these laws. Here are a few things to keep in mind about your rights as a pregnant employee.

Employers Can Get In Trouble For Firing You During And After Pregnancy

Most people know that it is unlawful for an employer to terminate workers during pregnancy (or because workers are pregnant). at many don’t know is that it is just as illegal for employers to let an employee go shortly after giving birth. Employee laws explicitly protect women who are recovering from childbirth and/or taking maternity leave.

Usually, You Can’t Collect Workers Compensation While Pregnant

Although there may be special cases and exceptions to the rule, in most states, women can’t collect workers compensation because they are pregnant. The reason, workers compensation lawyers and attorneys for workers reveal, is that pregnancy is not considered a disability. (On the other hand, there are some states that grant short term disability or partial workers compensation for pregnancy. Ask workers compensation attorneys if you are uncertain about the specific laws in your state.) In most cases, injuries must still result directly from work — not from pregnancy. As with other workers compensation claims, employees generally get paid weekly or biweekly and just about all (or 86%) of employers have programs to help employees transition back to work.

Pregnant women have rights, too — although they can seem a bit confusing or murky at times. Remember, employers can’t fire you shortly after childbirth for being a new mom, and employees may or may not be able to able to collect some disability insurance while pregnant, depending on specific state laws.