Can Pregnant Employees Be Required to Take Maternity Leave?

Los Angeles Employment Attorneys Protect Workers’ Rights

Most states require that businesses provide maternity pregnancy leave for their expectant employees. The problem is that not all pregnancies are the same, and some major corporations simply have one pregnancy policy that fails to account for individual differences between pregnancies.

For example, a Pier 1 Imports employee is currently suing the company for placing her on unpaid maternity leave at the wrong time. The employee informed Pier 1 Imports of her pregnancy and of the doctor’s orders that she only lift objects weighing less than 15 pounds. Pier 1 Imports placed her on light duty for eight weeks, a standard practice for working pregnant women.

After her eight weeks of light duty, Pier 1 Imports placed the employee on unpaid maternity leave despite that fact that she was still capable of working. Furthermore, Pier 1 Import’s unpaid maternity leave policy only lasts a fixed amount of time regardless of the state of the pregnancy. As such, Pier 1 Imports expected the employee to return to work despite the fact that she had not yet given birth.

Is it Illegal to Force a Pregnant Employee into Involuntary Leave?

Employers are required to take special consideration of the variable timing of each pregnancy under California law. Furthermore, employees cannot be forced to take time off work if they do not feel that they need to. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is in the process of closing loopholes used by corporations to fire pregnant employees.

The lawsuit against Pier 1 Imports is a class action lawsuit. The woman is acting as a single plaintiff representing a class of female workers who have been unjustly forced into unpaid leave, despite their ability to continue working.

What Can Victims of Pregnancy Discrimination Do?

Consult with an experienced labor attorney to find out if you can take legal action against your employer for pregnancy discrimination. A labor lawyer can help you build a solid case against your employer. One key component of a discrimination case is making a comparison between you and a similar non-pregnant employee. By working alongside a skilled employment lawyer, you can find out if your boss treated you unfairly based on your pregnancy. Do not hesitate to reach out to a California employment law firm to learn more about your rights as a pregnant worker.