Pregnancy Discrimination

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Pregnancy Discrimination

Discrimination on the job that is based on the employee’s sex is illegal, and – since 1974 – this includes discrimination that is based on pregnancy. Both the federal government and the State of California offer protections for pregnancy, and a better understanding of your rights can help you protect them. If you’ve been discriminated against on the job based on your pregnancy, reach out for the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Bay Area pregnancy discrimination attorney.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is known as Title VII, maintains that a company can’t have an employment policy – whether written or not – that excludes applicants from employment or denies employees any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Further protections include:

  • Companies must allow pregnant employees to continue performing their jobs as long as they are capable of doing so.
  • Companies can’t make employment decisions related to a worker’s performance based on either stereotypes or assumptions associated with the worker’s pregnancy.
  • Companies can’t implement special procedures that are based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions for determining an employee’s ability to do their job.
  • Companies can’t terminate or deny assignments or promotions to employees based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. 
  • Companies have a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees, but they can’t implement additional protections for pregnant or potentially pregnant employees, which means that an employer can’t exclude women from specific jobs based on a desire to protect fetuses. 

When it comes to pregnancy, employees are afforded many protections, but identifying this brand of discrimination and calling it out legally tends to be challenging – a seasoned pregnancy discrimination attorney can help.

State Protections

California enhances the protections implemented by federal law in relation to pregnancy, and one such example is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which includes protections for pregnancy-related disabilities, such as gestational diabetes. Your employer faces a range of obligations in relation to your pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions, including:

  • Reasonably accommodating your medical needs, such as by modifying your work duties temporarily, allowing you more frequent work breaks, or allowing you to have a stool or chair while performing your job
  • Transferring you to work that is either less strenuous or less hazardous – when possible – if medically indicated 
  • Affording you pregnancy disability leave (PDL) – as medically necessary – for up to four months and securing your job for your return
  • Affording you the reasonable privacy and break time necessary to express breast milk on the job 

Discrimination based on pregnancy comes down to you being treated differently than other employees are as a result of your pregnancy, childbirth, or any related health concern.  

An Experienced Bay Area Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney Is Standing By to Help

The accomplished Bay Area pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Olivier & Schreiber LLP are well-versed in the many nuanced forms of pregnancy discrimination on the job and are positioned to skillfully advocate for a claim resolution that upholds your rights and best interests. For more information about what we can do to help you, please do not delay reaching out and contacting us today.


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