California Employees Must Report Maternity Leave Discrimination

Updated: Apr 12

Learn the legal rights of pregnant employees in California under Federal Law


If you are a pregnant employee in the state of California, have been pregnant, or may become pregnant, AND if your employer has 15 or more employees, you are protected against pregnancy discrimination and harassment at work under federal law.


You may also have additional rights under other laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and state and local laws. If you feel you have been discriminated against at work because of being pregnant, you have a legal discrimination claim under the law.


So, let's talk about pregnancy leaves, employee rights, and discrimination, as they are often handled by our California Employment Attorneys.

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Under the pregnancy discrimination act, employers are not allowed to discriminate against an employee based on the following scenarios:

  • You are pregnant while employed;

  • You were pregnant while employed;

  • You could become pregnant while employed

  • You have medical complications or a condition related to your pregnancy; or

  • You had an abortion, or are thinking of having an abortion.

The federal law against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace states that you cannot be terminated, rejected for a promotion, given lesser work-related assignments, or forced to take a leave of absence for being pregnant.


An employer isn't required to keep you in a job that you are unable to perform or in which you would pose a significant safety risk for other employees. However, your employer cannot remove you from your job duties just because he/she assumes that work would pose a risk to your pregnancy.


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Harassment in the workplace due to pregnancy is also not allowed under the PDA and ADA. You should immediately report any type of harassment to HR and document any type of harassment. Follow your employer's protocol procedures for reporting harassment at work. Your employer is required by law to take action to prevent it from happening again.


If you're facing discrimination and adverse employment actions due to your pregnancy, contact a California Employment Lawyer as soon as possible.


What To Do After Pregnancy Discrimination Happened in the Workplace?


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may assist you in deciding the next course of action. You should also consult with a Los Angeles employment lawyer specializing in pregnancy discrimination. You must file a charge within 180 days of the alleged discrimination in order to take legal action, it is best to consult with a qualified pregnancy discrimination lawyer in California.

pregnancy discrimination lawyer

Maternity & Parental Leave


Under the PDA, if your employer allows temporarily disabled employees to take disability leave or in some cases leave without pay, must allow an employee who is temporarily disabled due to pregnancy the same right.


An employer may not make any assumptions about an employee's ability to work just because she's pregnant. Additionally, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, a new parent may be eligible for 12 weeks of leave (unpaid or paid if the employee has earned it) that may be used for the care of your newborn.