Pregnancy Discrimination

by | Mar 31, 2023 | Employment |

Pregnancy discrimination is a form of workplace discrimination that occurs when an employer treats a pregnant employee or applicant unfairly due to her pregnancy or related medical conditions. Pregnancy discrimination violates various state and federal laws, including the California Pregnancy Discrimination Law (PDL).

In California, pregnancy discrimination is illegal under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The PDL requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees and to treat them the same as other employees who are similarly situated in their ability or inability to work.

Under the PDL, an employer cannot discriminate against an employee or applicant on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This includes decisions related to hiring, firing, promotions, job assignments, and compensation. Additionally, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, such as time off for prenatal care, breaks to rest or use the restroom, and modified work schedules or duties.

To qualify for these accommodations, an employee must have a pregnancy-related medical condition that makes it difficult to perform her job duties. However, an employer cannot require an employee to take leave or limit her job duties if she is able to perform them with a reasonable accommodation.

In addition to the PDL, California law also provides additional protections for pregnant employees. For example, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, as well as for the employee’s own serious health condition or that of a family member. Pregnant employees may also be entitled to leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), which requires employers to provide up to four months of unpaid leave for pregnancy-related disabilities.

Employers who violate the PDL or other laws related to pregnancy discrimination may be subject to legal action and penalties.

If you believe you are being discriminated against at your job, please reach out to our knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers at Jay S. Rothman and Associates for a free consultation.