What Protection Do Pregnant Employees Have at Work?

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: October 2, 2020

New or pregnant mothers should be treated fairly in the workplace. But when an employer discriminates against a job applicant or employee because of her choice or pregnancy status, the employer could be guilty of pregnancy discrimination. Every woman should have the right to plan or start a family without having to worry about her employment status.

Laws That Protect Pregnancy-Related Leave

In California, the five key laws that protect new mothers or pregnant employees including The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA).

Each law provides leave for different circumstances and for different lengths of time. Additionally, each law has its own set of eligibility requirements. For example, the NPLA guarantees an employee unpaid time off for certain employees who recently had a child. Also called “baby bonding leave”, this includes maternity leave for new mothers and paternity leave for new fathers.

Regardless of the details, these pregnancy-related leave laws all exist to protect employees from pregnancy discrimination.

The key idea behind these laws is to allow mothers or fathers to take time off so they can take care of their new baby without worrying about losing their job. Under these protections, an employer usually must reinstate the employee to the same (or a comparable) job upon their return. If an employer refuses or gives the employee a demotion upon their return from a pregnancy-related leave, they could be at fault for pregnancy discrimination.

Signs of Pregnancy Discrimination

Although there are protections in place, some employers still violate these discrimination laws. While some acts of pregnancy discrimination are easy to identify, others are more difficult as they are subtle.

Examples of pregnancy discrimination during a job interview can include an employer asking if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

As an employee, an employer either terminates your employment or transfers you to a different department after learning about your pregnancy or intention to become pregnant.

Your employer replaces you during your maternity leave.

You face signs of retaliation (such as a decrease in pay) after informing your employer about your pregnancy status.

After informing your employer about your pregnancy status, your employer decreases your work hours.

Your employer refused to provide you with reasonable accommodations after learning about your pregnancy status.

Contact a Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer Today

California employees have a right to decide whether they want to get pregnant or intend to start a family. Employees also deserve to work in an environment free from discrimination. If you’ve noticed any signs of pregnancy discrimination at work, you have the right to file a claim against those at fault.

An experienced and compassionate pregnancy discrimination attorney will fight for your rights and can help get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact Mesriani Law Group today to speak with an attorney about your potential case.