Pregnancy Discrimination FAQ
Pregnancy is classified as a disability under the law, as it often requires the allowance of reasonable accommodations for employees both during and after their term for most jobs. However, some employers fail to adhere to the law in treating their pregnant employees fairly, and act in a discriminatory manner. It is important to know your rights when this occurs. Here are some frequently asked questions the Orange County pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Serendib Law Firm receive when speaking with clients. If you have additional questions or would like to find out more about your employment rights, please do not hesitate to contact our office to see how we can help.
- Is Pregnancy a Disability That is Legally Protected?
- How Do I Know if My Employer Discriminated Against Me?
- How Do You Show an Adverse Employment Action Was Taken Due to Pregnancy?
- What is Considered a Reasonable Accommodation?
- How Much Time Can I Take Off Work for Pregnancy-Related Issues?
- What Pregnancy-Related Conditions are Covered Under the Laws?
- How Can I Take Further Action in My Pregnancy Discrimination Case?
Yes, pregnancy qualifies as a disability under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) offer further protections for pregnant employees.
Discrimination can come in a variety of forms such as:
- Failure to promote
- Denial of benefits
- Failure to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related medical conditions
- Interference with an employee’s right to leave
- Refusal to hire
Any adverse employment action taken against an employee because of their pregnancy is discrimination.
Contacting a knowledgeable pregnancy discrimination attorney in Orange County who can help make this determination and ensure the proper evidence is collected and preserved is important. Generally, if an adverse action is taken after you have informed your employer of your pregnancy or requested a reasonable accommodation (including permitted leave), the presumption of discrimination can be shown.
The FEHA, ADA, and PDLL require employers to provide ‘reasonable accommodations’ for pregnant employees. Common workplace accommodations that are issued to those with pregnancy related medical issues include:
- Providing a stool or chair for workers to sit.
- Giving the freedom to take breaks for restroom use.
- Temporary modification of job duties, especially where heavy lifting is involved.
- Flexible hours or telecommuting options to help with medical appointments.
- Leaves of absence.
As long as an accommodation does not create an undue hardship on an employer, an employee’s request is usually seen as reasonable. Speaking with a seasoned Southern California pregnancy discrimination lawyer if you think you’ve been unjustly denied an accommodation at work can help you determine your next legal step.
The amount of leave for pregnancy-related medical issues depends on an individual’s circumstances. The CFRA allows for a total of 12 weeks unpaid medical leave, which may be taken whenever needed. Additionally, the PDLL grants full-time employees four months of leave for pregnancy-related medical conditions, including childbirth and baby-bonding time.
Although it does not directly refer to pregnancy, the FEHA’s requirement to provide reasonable accommodations includes leave, without giving a specific frame. As such, those that need more time for pregnancy-related medical matters may take it.
Some examples of conditions associated with pregnancy that would entitle an employee to leave include postpartum depression, childbirth recovery, loss of pregnancy, preeclampsia, pregnancy-related hypertension, prenatal care, gestational diabetes, and severe morning sickness.
If you have suffered workplace discrimination due to your pregnancy, or related conditions, the Orange County attorneys at the Serendib Law Firm can assist you in filing the appropriate claims against those responsible. Our firm assists employees throughout Southern California, in Orange County, as well as Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Please call us today at 1-800-LAW-8225 (800-529-8825) or contact us online to find out more about our legal services.