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How California employment laws protect pregnant employees

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2018 | Blog, Firm News |

A woman working in California could become pregnant and find herself in a vulnerable position with her job. Employers often protect the health of their business at the expense of their employees. This may be unlawful and could put your place of employment under the spotlight of a discrimination lawsuit.

If you are pregnant, you should know your rights at your workplace. You need to protect yourself from having your rights violated and from facing employment discrimination. Pregnancy and childbirth related issues are covered under sex discrimination in the workplace.

Reasonable accommodation

In general, California employment laws mandate the reasonable accommodation of pregnant employees who are incapable of performing job duties as fully as before. This could mean allowing you to sit down instead of standing for long periods of time. It could also mean transferring you to a temporary position away from certain demands that may harm your pregnancy.

An employee may have a high-risk pregnancy or suffer severe morning sickness, postpartum depression and lactation difficulties. These are all factors that employers are obligated to accommodate under pregnancy disability leave.

Pregnancy Disability Leave

California considers pregnancy a temporary disability. This qualifies a pregnant employee for not only reasonable accommodations, but also an allowance for leave. A pregnancy disability leave entitles an employee to a maximum of four months leave per pregnancy. An employer may allow more time under their employee benefits provision, but up to four months is protected under state law.

Unfortunately, some workplaces do not honor the rights of their pregnant employees. Anytime the health of your pregnancy and rights as an employee are in danger, you should take action to resolve the matter quickly.