Pregnancy Discrimination Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Berenji Law Firm, A Professional Corporation, was founded to protect and defend workers across the Los Angeles region. Pregnant workers in particular far too often experience discrimination for bearing the miracle of life, and don’t know where to turn to take action. California has a wide range of protections in place for new or expectant mothers — these are just some of the questions we hear often from our clients regarding these protections:
- What are the most common forms of pregnancy discrimination? Pregnancy discrimination can vary just like any other form of discrimination. Employers may not hire you, they may wrongfully terminate you, transfer you, or lower your pay or hours. When you are treated differently than any other employee due to your pregnancy, you may have a discrimination claim.
- How do I know if I have a “pregnancy disability”? A pregnancy disability is any physical or mental condition that results from your pregnancy and keeps you from performing your job, or puts you and the baby at risk. This can include morning sickness, need for bed rest, post-partum depression, pregnancy-induced hypertension and more.
- How much time can I take off for pregnancy/childbirth? If you are entitled to CFRA leave, you can take 12 weeks off to bond with your baby. If you have a pregnancy disability or need time to recover from childbirth, your employer must provide up to four months of time off, depending on your doctor’s recommendation. For employees that are entitled to CFRA leave, the four-month disability leave is in addition to the 12-week CFRA leave. If you have taken four months off and/or all of your CFRA leave, you may be entitled to additional time off under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act if your pregnancy or childbirth led to a disability.
- When I come back to work, will I have the same job? Yes. Employers cannot penalize you for being pregnant or going through childbirth, and that includes giving you a lower position or lower pay.
- Do fathers receive any discrimination benefits? While many of the pregnancy discrimination cases are geared toward mothers, there are a few protections in place for fathers. For instance, if a father is eligible for CFRA leave, he can take leave from work to bond with his new child – if he is penalized for this legal right, he can have a discrimination claim.
- Am I entitled to any accommodations for my pregnancy? Yes. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations when necessary. These often include additional breaks, less strenuous or stressful work, flexible scheduling for medical treatment and accommodations to nurse your newborn child.
More questions? Every case is unique, and requires counsel from an experienced employment lawyer to ensure your rights are protected in your specific situation. Call our offices at 888-900-2573 or 424-281-0510 to speak to our attorneys, or reach out online to speak to a member of our team. We offer free initial consultations, so there is no risk to get started.