What Is Pregnancy-Based Harassment?
What Is Pregnancy-Based Harassment?

What Is Pregnancy-Based Harassment?

The State of California affords those employees who are pregnant or who have recently given birth important protections on the job. While having a baby is a momentous event for all families, pregnant employees may face discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Employees who’ve been discriminated against in relation to their pregnancies or in response to giving birth are well advised to consult with an experienced California discrimination attorney.

Pregnancy Discrimination

When an employee or job applicant is treated less favorably than other employees or applicants in response to their pregnancy, it is considered discrimination, and it is unlawful for every California employer who has at least five employees. Pregnancy discrimination comes under the umbrella of sex discrimination. 

The Forms Pregnancy Discrimination Can Take

Pregnancy discrimination can take nuanced forms, which means that it can be difficult to pinpoint. Common examples of pregnancy discrimination on the job that is unlawful in California include the following:

  • Employers who demote or fire a pregnant employee based on related medical conditions
  • Employers who fail to reasonably accommodate the disabilities pregnant employees experience
  • Employers who deny pregnant employees time off for giving birth or for related medical conditions when the employee is legally entitled to the time off
  • Employers who refuse to accommodate the needs of an employee who recently gave birth in relation to breastfeeding, pumping milk, or receiving medical treatment for a health condition related to breastfeeding
  • Employers who refuse to hire an applicant based on their pregnancy or on the fact that they may become pregnant in the future

Pregnancy-based discrimination can relate to an employee’s compensation, to the terms or privileges of their job, to the conditions they work in, and to the job assignments they receive.

State and Federal Protections

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination by employers of 15 or more employers on the basis of all the following:

  • Pregnancy 
  • Giving birth
  • Experiencing a medical condition related to pregnancy or giving birth

Employers are required by law to treat all employees who are affected by childbirth, pregnancy, and related health conditions in the same way that other employees are treated, which includes the matter of employee benefits. 

California’s FEHA secures all the same protections but extends its reach by including employers of five or more employees. Further, California law includes protections for pregnant employees who are disabled by their condition, which can include leave that exceeds the amount mandated by other legal guidelines. 

Pregnancy protections in California apply to all the following:

  • Job applicants
  • Temporary employees
  • Unpaid interns 
  • Traditional employees

Reach Out to an Experienced California Discrimination Attorney Today

The focused California discrimination attorneys at Minnis & Smallets dedicate their imposing practice to helping those discriminated against at work, and pregnant employees are exceptionally vulnerable to this brand of mistreatment on the job. We’re here to help, so please don’t put off contacting us for more information today. 

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