Pregnancy Discrimination

Welcoming a child into your life is an exciting and monumental moment in your life. However, it is undeniable that this time can also be stressful, especially if you are worried about how this will impact your job.

Naturally, women often need to take time off during or after their pregnancy to protect their child and their individual health. This time off is crucial in building the bond between the parents and their child, especially in the early months of the child’s life.

Unfortunately, if you are afraid of potentially losing your job, it is difficult to take the time you need off.

For this reason, California has one of the most extensive leave laws in the country. As an employee in the state, you may be entitled to:

  • Pregnancy Disability leave
  • Bonding Leave, or
  • “Reasonable Accommodation” Leave

What is pregnancy disability leave?

Pregnancy disability leave is the time taken off of work when a woman is disabled by pregnancy or childbirth.

California’s Pregnancy Disability Law and FMLA laws issue time off for pregnancy disability for eligible employees.

In California, you are acknowledged to have a “pregnancy disability” or “serious health condition” if your doctor determines that you cannot perform any essential job function due to your pregnancy.

Some common examples of pregnancy disabilities, but are not limited to, are the following: 

  • Severe morning sickness,
  • A constant need for bed rest,
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension,
  • Preeclampsia,
  • Postpartum depression,
  • Recovery from childbirth, and
  • Recovery from the end of pregnancy.

What is bonding leave?

Bonding leave is the time an employee takes off from work to bond with their new child. This is also commonly referred to as “parental leave.”

Eligible employees can take bonding leave within the first year of a child’s arrival- whether this is, whether employees (or treat them less favorably) based on:

  • pregnancy,
  • childbirth,
  • loss of pregnancy, or
  • related physical or mental conditions.

Pregnancy discrimination is illegal at all stages of employment, including when making decisions about:

Examples of unlawful pregnancy discrimination include:

  • refusing to hire a woman because she’s pregnant or may become pregnant;
  • firing or demoting a woman because of her pregnancy-related medical conditions;
  • discriminating against a woman because she needs to breastfeed or pump.
  • denying maternity leave if she’s legally entitled to leave; and
  • refusing to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy disabilities;

What can you do if your employer discriminated against you because of your pregnancy?

Discrimination is evidently illegal under California law. However, some employers continue to violate the rights of their employees.

If this happens to you, you may be entitled to financial compensation or reinstatement to your job.

Employers Retaliation

As an employee, it is difficult to approach your employer to file a complaint,

Despite their reaction, it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a complaint. If your employer takes any adverse action against you, you are entitled to have another claim filed against it. It is important to remember to defend your rights!

Hiring an Employment Lawyer

If you believe you are a victim of employment discrimination, it is a good idea to hire an experienced employment attorney due to the complexity of these cases.

A skilled employment attorney can help:

  • Be your advocate, so you do not have to have direct contact with your employer
  • Navigate complicated laws
  • Advise you on all of your options
  • Maximize the compensation you may receive

What to do if you have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against because of your pregnancy?

At W Employment Law, we are devoted to fighting for the rights of California employees. If you believe your rights have been violated, call us at (949) 936-4001 or fill out a confidential case evaluation form today. Our consultations are always free. 

W Employment Law is a leading firm with an abundance of legal talent committed and specialized in labor and employment law. We have successfully litigated and settled cases, winning millions of dollars in awards and compensation for clients whose rights have been violated.

At W Employment Law, we do not get paid for your case unless we win. We understand that hiring an attorney and filing a lawsuit is expensive, so we promise to front all of the costs. When we win the case, our portion comes out of the settlement or verdict we win for you, so you do not have to pay anything out of pocket.