Pregnant? Workplace Rights When You’re Expecting

Whether you were an employee and planned to get pregnant, have an unexpected pregnancy, or you are pregnant and looking for a job, it is important to know your rights. Despite state and federal laws that protect women against discrimination and other forms of adverse employment action, many women still suffer pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. So what are your rights? When should you take legal action against an employer? How can you protect your reputation and career in the face of discrimination? Here’s the short list of “what to expect when you’re expecting” in the workplace:

hands3Freedom against discriminatory hiring practices: If you are pregnant and seeking employment, remember it is illegal for employers to ask about your pregnancy status or to deny you employment because of a pregnancy. While the facts of every case must be examined, you should consult with an experienced advocate if you suspect that you were denied employment because of a pregnancy.

Reasonable accommodations: Under the EEOC guidelines, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant women. This may mean a change of actual duties, or for example, to provide a chair if you are otherwise required to stand for long hours. If your previous duties required heavy lifting, employers should do their best to find other suitable job duties.

Protection against discrimination and harassment: Despite the number of laws against pregnancy discrimination, many women continue to suffer extreme forms of discrimination in the workplace. From demotion to verbal harassment, pregnant women continue to suffer on the job. Remember that comments and behaviors that create a hostile work environment are illegal. Similarly, if an employer has taken adverse action, including demotion, docking of pay, or termination in relation to your pregnancy, you have the right to take legal action.

Time-off, disability, and maternity leave: In California, the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) makes women eligible for four months of Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL). Under the statute, the job protected leave can be taken at any time during a 12-month period. It will run concurrently with FMLA leave, but not CFRA leave, which can be taken even after the PDLL runs out.

FMLA Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act applies to businesses with over 50 employees. Any worker, including men, have the right to take leave for medical reasons or to care for an ailing family member without fear of losing their job.

There are several state and federal laws that protect pregnant women, including the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Fortunately, for residents of California, the protections are much more comprehensive for pregnant women than in other states. In the event that your rights are violated, you should consider taking legal action. Our Orange County pregnancy discrimination attorneys are experienced in the investigation of claims and can effectively protect your rights. We will also counsel you on the best course of action to protect your reputation, career, and financial recovery.

Employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 714-937-2020.

More Blog Entries:

Age Discrimination in Tech Job Postings, July 6, 2014, Orange County Employment Lawyer Blog

California’s Top Employment Law Mistakes, Oct. 26, 2013, Orange County Employment Lawyer Blog