pregnant employee rights

California has some of the most progressive pregnant employee rights in the United States, bolstered by numerous state and federal laws. As you embark on parenthood, understanding these rights will safeguard your job and ensure a smooth and safe journey.

This article will enhance your readiness for the road ahead by exploring pregnant employee rights in California, the laws that guarantee them, and what you can expect as a pregnant employee on the job and after.

What On-the-Job Accommodations Can I Request While I Am Expecting?

Both federal and California laws ensure a comfortable and fair working environment during pregnancy. These laws also recognize that your workplace needs will evolve as your pregnancy advances.

State and legislative frameworks, including the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), mandates that employers accommodate these changes, including:

  • Adjusting your duties to align with your abilities during pregnancy;
  • Assisting you with physically challenging tasks;
  • Temporarily reassigning you to jobs that are less physically demanding;
  • Allowing you to sit if standing becomes difficult;
  • Allowing you more frequent and more prolonged breaks for rest and relief;
  • Making ergonomic adjustments to your workstation to prevent discomfort; 
  • Modifying your schedule to accommodate prenatal appointments; and
  • Altering your performance goals to match your physical condition.

These modifications aim to preserve your health, job role, and efficiency throughout your pregnancy. If you have questions about these rights or trouble securing them, a skilled employment attorney at Bibiyan Law Group can help. We can work with your employer to ensure a pregnancy-friendly workplace.

How Does the Law Protect My Job While I Am Pregnant?

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), companies with 15 or more employees may not discriminate based on pregnancy in any employment practice. In California, the FEHA extends this discrimination protection to employers with five or more employees, requiring them to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. The following are some of your rights and obligations as a pregnant employee in California.

Your Rights

  • It is unlawful for your employer to reduce your wages because you are pregnant;
  • It is illegal for your employer to demote you because you are pregnant;
  • It is unlawful for your employer to fire you because you are pregnant;
  • Your pregnancy may not impede your chances for promotion and professional development; and
  • Your benefits, such as health insurance and professional opportunities, must remain intact.

Next, let’s take a look at your obligations.

Your Obligations

  • Your employer may require you to submit a written medical certification from a health professional validating your need for leave;
  • Your employer may require you to use any available sick leave during pregnancy disability leave;
  • If possible, you must submit notice at least 30 days before leaving for foreseeable events, such as the birth of your child or planned medical treatments; and
  • For unforeseeable events, you must notify your employer as soon as you learn you need to take leave.

These rights and obligations protect your career prospects during a significant life event, allowing you peace of mind to focus on what truly matters. If you believe your employer acted in a way that violates your rights, don’t hesitate to contact the skilled employment law team at Bibiyan Law Group.

Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting pregnant employees and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the entitlements you deserve.

What Are My Pregnant Employee Rights to Leave During and After Pregnancy?

As a new parent, you deserve to attend prenatal appointments, comply with your doctor’s prescribed bedrest, and bond with your child without worrying about job security. Luckily, California has your back. The state’s strong legal protections for parental leave at both the state and federal levels include:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a year for the arrival of a new child and to care for them.
  • California Family Rights Act (CFRA). California employees who qualify can take an extra 12 weeks of unpaid leave within 12 months of the birth of their child, with the option of using paid leave under certain conditions.
  • Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL). California allows up to four months of leave for workers whose pregnancy causes a disability, with the option for intermittent leave or a modified work schedule as advised by a healthcare provider.
  • California Paid Family Leave (PFL). Eligible employees may be entitled to receive state disability insurance or PFL benefits for up to eight weeks to bond with their newborn child. These benefits usually cover a percentage of employee wages and provide financial support, but they do not offer job security like FMLA or CFRA.

If your employer refuses your request for time off for medical reasons related to your pregnancy or to honor your right to bond with your newborn, an experienced Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyer at Bibiyan Law Group can assist you in securing the leave you’re entitled to. When you work with us, you can rest assured we will fight tirelessly for your rights and hold your employer accountable.

Bibiyan Law Group, PC Will Fight for Your Employee Rights

At Bibiyan Law Group, our dedicated attorneys and robust staff are united in a singular focus— defending California’s pregnant workforce. With vast experience in pregnancy rights, our team, led by top-tier law school graduates, brings a fresh, vigorous approach to employment law.

With an impressive track record of tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for employees each year, we are not content with mere demands. We are fierce litigators, ready to file lawsuits and fight for you with the total weight of our resources.

Bibiyan Law Group is here to make it right for every California employee who feels wronged. If you believe your employer mistreated you, don’t just dream of a resolution; secure it. Contact us today and let our achievements in and out of the courtroom drive the measure of your trust in us.

Author Photo

David Bibiyan is a distinguished attorney at Tomorrow Law, renowned for his expertise in employment law. With a strong focus on representing employees in various workplace disputes, he has become a trusted advocate for those facing discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage and hour issues. Bibiyan’s approach is characterized by a deep understanding of both state and federal employment laws, ensuring that his clients receive knowledgeable and effective representation. His commitment to justice is evident in his dedication to each case, where he meticulously works to secure the best possible outcomes for his clients. Bibiyan’s reputation is built on a foundation of successful case resolutions, marked by his skillful negotiation and, when necessary, aggressive litigation strategies. His work at Tomorrow Law reflects a genuine passion for defending workers’ rights and promoting fair employment practices.

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