Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy should be a joyous and exciting time in a parent’s life. However, it is not without its stresses. Sadly, many pregnant women and new mothers face discrimination at work, including the risk of losing their jobs when they miss work on account of pregnancy.

Fortunately, there are safeguards in place to protect expectant mothers.

Employees in California are protected against discrimination due to pregnancy under both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Under both laws, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against or harass an employee because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. An employer cannot refuse to hire or promote an employee because the employee is pregnant, or because the employer is concerned that the employee might become pregnant in the future. Likewise, an employer cannot terminate an employee because that employee is pregnant or might become pregnant.

Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination

Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyer Afshin Mozaffari has a comprehensive understanding of California employment law and can help you navigate your rights under the law. Pregnancy discrimination can take many forms. It can include:

Firing you because you’re pregnant

Some employers fire pregnant employees because they believe the new baby may interfere with the job or believe the physical nature of the job will be bad for the employee’s health while pregnant. This is forbidden by federal and California law.

Not giving you time and place to pump breast milk

In California, employers are required to provide lactation breaks to nursing mothers. The length of the lactation break must be a reasonable amount of time to express breast milk.

Employers are also required to make reasonable efforts to provide employees with a private area to express breast milk. The area must be in close proximity to the employee’s work area and may not be a toilet stall. A private area is one that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.

Denying a request for reasonable accommodation

If a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, an employer must treat her in the same way as it treats any other temporarily disabled employee. For example, the employer may have to provide light duty, alternative assignments, disability leave, or unpaid leave to pregnant employees, just as it would do for other temporarily disabled employees.

Additionally, impairments resulting from pregnancy (for example, gestational diabetes or preeclampsia) may qualify as disabilities under the ADA or the FEHA. An employer may have to provide a reasonable accommodation (such as leave or modifications that enable an employee to perform her job) for a disability related to pregnancy, absent undue hardship (significant difficulty or expense).

The Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act

Both the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) authorize eligible employees to take up to a total of 12 weeks of paid or unpaid job-protected leave during a 12-month period for various family and medical-related reasons, including the birth of a child or foster care placement of a child.

California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL)

Pregnancy in and of itself is not a disability. However, under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), an employer that employs at least 5 individuals is required to provide an employee who is disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition up to 4 months (16 weeks) of job-protected leave. Additionally, an employer is required to provide reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, if the employee’s health care provider advises that an accommodation is necessary.

Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyer Afshin Mozaffari has assisted many employees in pregnancy discrimination cases and has been successful in representing employees who have been treated unfairly as a result of their pregnancy. If you believe you are being discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy, contact Mozaffari Law at 323.696.0702 or Info@mozaffarilaw.comfor a confidential consultation.