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What Are My Rights As A Pregnant Employee In California?

Discussing Pregnancy Discrimination In California And Other Employment Rights

Pregnancy is considered a protected characteristic in California. It falls under protections against sex discrimination and disability discrimination, so you have unique benefits employment-wise.

You must know your employment law rights and when your boss and co-workers violate them. First, look at pregnant employees' rights, as experienced by California Employment Law Attorneys:

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1. You Cannot Be Discriminated Against Because You're Pregnant

This includes discrimination based on the following:

  • You are pregnant

  • You were pregnant before

  • You suffer from an illness connected to pregnancy or childbirth (i.e., morning sickness)

  • You are experiencing postpartum depression

  • You might become pregnant or have plans to do so

A person who has had an abortion or plans to have one is protected from discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.

All of this means that none of the aforementioned pregnancy-related reasons mentioned above may be used by your employer to:

  • Terminate your employment

  • Deny you a promotion to which you are otherwise entitled

  • Demote you to a lower position

  • Assign you to more manual labor

  • Make you take a leave of absence from work

If you've suffered discrimination because you are, you can, or planning to get pregnant, you should consult with a California Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney. A prescreened Los Angeles Employment Law Attorney knows their way around labor laws and can help you investigate the claim, gather proof, and negotiate with your employer.

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2. You Are Protected From Harassment Because Of Your Pregnancy

The FEHA prohibits harassing you at work for reasons linked to your pregnancy or pregnancy, regardless of the size of your employer. Additionally, businesses must take reasonable precautions to stop this type of discrimination and harassment.

Your employer and other people at work may not expose you to unwanted, unpleasant, or harmful behavior. If you're experiencing harassment based on a protected status (like pregnancy), you should contact a Los Angeles Employment Lawyer ASAP.

3. Pregnant Workers Are Entitled To Reasonable Accommodations

You have the right to request reasonable accommodations at work under the FEHA. Additionally, if your boss has five or more employees, they may be required to do so.

This implies that if you require a change in your work environment so that you may do your regular duties safely while pregnant, your employer is generally required to make that accommodation unless doing so would put an excessive burden on them.

A temporary accommodation might be:

  • Letting you work from home

  • Adjusting your break schedule to allow for rest or bathroom breaks

  • Transferring some of your physically taxing, non-essential responsibilities to a colleague

  • Modifying your work schedule to enable you to begin your shift earlier or later or to work fewer hours each day

  • Allowing you to sit or stand as necessary

  • Giving you ergonomic office furnishings

Remember, pregnancy is considered a temporary disability. Hence, you have the right to request accommodations and work them out with your employer.

4. You Have The Right To File A Leave Of Absence

You may be eligible for an unpaid leave of absence of up to four months under California Pregnancy Disability Leave if you cannot work due to a pregnancy-related condition or if you require time off for prenatal or postnatal medical appointments.

In this context, a four-month leave of absence refers to time off for as many days or hours as you would typically work in four calendar months. The leave may be taken in a single, uninterrupted four-month period, on an ad hoc basis, or with a reduced workload.

If you require time off due to a pregnancy-related disability or if your employer has five or more employees, they must provide you with pregnant disability leave. If your workplace has a paid leave policy, leave taken under the Pregnancy Disability Leave may be paid.

If you've been fired or retaliated against, you should contact a California Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney ASAP. A successful Pregnancy Discrimination Claim in California allows plaintiffs to collect compensation for economic and non-economic losses from violating their rights.

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