Pregnancy discrimination occurs when employers engage in discriminatory practices against job applicants or employees who:
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was an amendment approved in 1978 to the 1964 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that particularly bans pregnancy discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination, under the PDA, is considered a form of sex or gender discrimination.
If your employer employs five or more workers, you’re legally entitled to certain protections and rights under California and federal laws. These protections and rights include the rights to adequate leaves and pregnancy-related reasonable accommodations. Broadly speaking, employers are not allowed to refuse to promote or hire, fire, discharge, harass or otherwise discriminate against employees due to pregnancy, childbirth, and/or qualified related conditions or complications.
Pregnant employees may likewise be entitled to certain reasonable accommodations if they suffer from a pregnancy disability. Reasonable accommodations are modifications to the employee’s work environment, which enable them to do their job safely. Examples of these accommodations or modifications include:
Pregnancy disability leave is a type of employment leave to accommodate workers with pregnancy disabilities. Your doctor will recommend the length of time you should take time off work, but you can take up to four months of pregnancy disability leave for every pregnancy.
You could take your PDL intermittently or all at once. With intermittent PDL, you take leaves in small increments. For example, you can take several hours every day off work or take a couple of days or weeks off work at a time. In California, transgender employees can also take PDLs and are afforded the same pregnancy-related accommodations and rights.
The PDL is in addition to other leaves for which you might qualify under the California Family Rights Acts (CFRA), Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and other local ordinances, state or federal laws, and your employer’s specific leave policies. For example, if the company policy provides leaves for other disabilities, your employer should also provide the same leave provisions for pregnancy disabilities. Take note, however, that whether you’re legally entitled to reasonable accommodations would mainly depend on your workplace and the specific circumstances of your pregnancy disability.
Anti-discrimination pregnancy laws could be very challenging to interpret, depending on the exact nature and extent of the discrimination. It becomes even more difficult when the circumstances of the discrimination apply to both federal and state laws. Consequently, this could make it more difficult for workers to understand how and where to file their claims.
If you have any concerns or questions about pregnancy discrimination or are currently involved in a pregnancy discrimination dispute with your employer, get in touch with Minnis & Smallets for sound legal advice. A pregnancy discrimination lawyer in San Francisco can evaluate your claim and help you seek fair compensation for the losses you incurred due to your employer’s discriminatory acts. You can call our phone number or fill out our online form to arrange an appointment with one of our pregnancy discrimination attorneys today.