Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

If a company fails to provide such accommodations to pregnant employees, or unlawfully retaliates against the employee for requesting pregnancy related accommodation or leave, that constitutes illegal pregnancy discrimination.

In California it is illegal for employers to discriminate against pregnant employees, or to unlawfully retaliate against employees for taking pregnancy related leaves of absence from their employment. Companies are required to provide pregnancy leave to their employees. Additionally, employers must make other reasonable accommodations for pregnant women in the workplace.

Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it illegal for companies to demote, fire, or in any other way discriminate against a worker because of her pregnancy, or for her decision to request pregnancy leave.  Additionally, California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law requires California companies to provide employees with four months of leave for employees who need medical leave as a result of their pregnancy. The employer’s duty to provide four months of pregnancy related medical leave is provided for explicitly in the law. Even if a company has a different policy in regards to medical disability leaves, it will still be required to provide pregnancy employees with such medical leave.  This law provides pregnant employees with benefits beyond the general disability leave rules that exist in California.

Another law that is potentially applicable in pregnancy related discrimination cases is the California Family Rights Act. After the employee has given birth, she may be entitled to an additional twelve weeks of leave under the California Family Rights Act. However, in order for the California Family Rights Act to apply, the employer must employ at least fifty workers within a seventy five mile radius of the pregnant employee’s place of work, and the pregnant employee must have worked for the company for at least one year, and have logged at least 1,250 hours of work in the last year.

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