In Quebec, the Health and Safety legislation has a provision for protective reassignment of pregnant or nursing workers, which is administered by the CSST (workers compensation), and is invoked when the pregnant worker provides a medical certificate to the employer that the working conditions present a risk to the fetus (although this may be after the critical early period). This covers those employed by the university, and has been used on numerous occasions by technical staff in various departments in science and fine arts. However this provision of the legislation does not apply to students. Within our Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry there is a Departmental policy regarding labs and pregnant students which evolved over time to accommodate pregnant students, the spirit of the legislation, and academic requirements, and was put in writing in 1996. This policy is reviewed with the teaching assistants and lab demonstrators at their orientation session each semester. Students are informed at the start of each semester, and various options have been developed, depending on the lab work and situation involved. This has worked satisfactorily to date, and we have had quite a few pregnant students pass through our programmes.
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