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Your rights as a pregnant employee in California

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2021 | Discrimination

When you live and work in California and are pregnant, recovering from childbirth or experiencing a pregnancy-related medical condition, you have certain protections when it comes to employment. Your employer has a legal obligation to make certain allowances for you because of your condition, should the need arise. You, in exchange, have an obligation to give your employer notice if you need him or her to accommodate you in some way because of your condition.

Per the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, your employer may not harass you or discriminate against you because you are pregnant or dealing with a pregnancy-related medical condition. He or she also has to do the following if the need arises.

Employer obligations

Your employer must take reasonable steps to accommodate your pregnancy-related needs. This might mean giving you more time off your feet or allowing you more frequent breaks. He or she also has an obligation to give you less strenuous duties, should you need them. Also, your employer must give you up to four months of pregnancy-related disability while holding your job for you. However, there are certain exceptions, such as if your employer makes layoffs unrelated to your condition.

Your notification obligations

You need to give your employer reasonable notice so that he or she has time to make reasonable accommodations for you. Typically, this means giving your employer 30 days to make accommodations on your behalf. If your employer asks, you may also have to get a written medical certification from your doctor explaining why you need certain accommodations made.

Failing to provide your employer reasonable notice may lead to delays in terms of him or her accommodating your condition.

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