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What Rights Do Pregnant Employees Have In California?

Deciding to start or expand your family should be an exciting time for a mother. But in some cases, expecting, soon-to-be-expecting and new mothers can face unfair treatment from their employer and workplace due to their pregnancy status. This treatment is never okay, but there are options for people facing pregnancy discrimination.

Various California laws are designed protect employees from discrimination and harassment, including women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or who have recently given birth. Informing yourself of these laws and protections can help you insure you are treated fairly at work. Here is a basic outline of your rights and protections as an employee.

Employer Obligations

There are several accommodations and protections your employer must provide to you if you are pregnant or have recently given birth including:

  • Medical accommodations such as providing more frequent breaks, chairs/stools or modifying your tasks
  • Adjusting your job or transferring you to less dangerous positions
  • Reasonable break time and a private area for nursing
  • Providing disability leave for up to four months, while returning you to the same job after this leave

Pregnancy disability leave is enforced in the state of California, and has many factors.

Pregnancy Discrimination Protections

Pregnant employees are also protected from various forms of discrimination in the workplace such as:

  • Being fired or restricted from jobs they are otherwise qualified for, including promotions
  • Protection from harassment that creates a hostile or offensive work environment

As a pregnant employee, you are entitled to these rights and protections while at work. If you suspect you may be discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly you may want to speak with an employment law attorney to protect yourself and your employment.