Answer to Question #3813 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
Category: Radiation Workers
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
I would like to know if I can be legally restrained from procedures, such as fluoroscopy, while pregnant. Also, can I be removed from school if I am still training as an x-ray technician? Can the hospital or school withhold me from advancing based on my pregnancy? My baby badge has always read 0. I have signed a waiver releasing the school and hospital from all responsibilities concerning my pregnancy.
It is against the law to discriminate based on pregnancy. See the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website, item four, Sex Discrimination, under Section III What Other Practices. In fact, there was a landmark case in 1993 in which a woman sued Johnson Controls, a battery manufacturer, for not allowing her, while she was pregnant, to work in an area where there were hazardous materials. She won.
There are State and Federal regulations that limit the amount of radiation exposure the fetus of an occupationally exposed woman who has declared her pregnancy can receive. That amount is 500 mrem total during the gestation period (not to exceed 50 mrem per month). It appears that your radiation exposure results are negligible.
Thus, you cannot legally be barred from practicing radiology or advancing in school. The only other item worth looking at might be whether you signed a contract when you applied to attend x-ray technician school—was there anything in that contract where you waived your legal rights to continue if you became pregnant? It is pretty unlikely, but worth checking.
Answer posted on 2 June 2004. The information and material posted on this website is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may alter the concepts and applications of materials and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice specific to whatever facts and circumstances are presented in any given situation. Answers are correct at the time they are posted on the Website. Be advised that over time, some requirements could change, new data could be made available, or Internet links could change. For answers that have been posted for several months or longer, please check the current status of the posted information prior to using the responses for specific applications.
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