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What Are My Rights as a Pregnant Employee in California?

Posted on September 18, 2017 Author:

Whether you’re employed and thinking about how to tell your boss you are pregnant, or you are seeking new employment and worried how prospective employers will react, remember this: pregnancy-based discrimination is illegal. Under California law, employers are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant women with respect to training, compensation or any other aspect of employment. Prospective employers are also not allowed to deny you employment due to pregnancy.

Laws Regarding Pregnancy Discrimination

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), employers are required to treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions the same way they would treat any other person. The PDA is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), employers must accommodate employees suffering conditions such as morning sickness and post-partum depression. Employees suffering these conditions and more are considered “disabled by pregnancy.” The PDLL also cover employees who need time off for childbirth and recovery from childbirth.

California also allows baby bonding leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). However, not all employees are covered under the CFRA. To qualify:

  1. Your employer must have at least 50 employees within 75 miles of your workplace
  2. You must have worked for your employer for longer than one year
  3. You must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the year prior to your leave

If you meet the above requirements, you are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of leave.

Whether you take leave under CFRA or PDLL, you have the right to reinstatement when you are ready to work. This means that your employer is required to place you in the same or a substantially similar role upon return.

These are just a few of the rights you have during pregnancy under federal and state law. To learn more, you can visit our page on pregnancy discrimination or continue to follow our blog.