Can you lose your job because of a pregnancy in California?
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Can you lose your job because of a pregnancy in California?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2024 | Discrimination

Your journey to motherhood should be a joyous time, but sometimes, concerns about job security can dampen the excitement. You may be worried that your job may be on the line due to pregnancy.

Fortunately, pregnant employees in California are protected by some of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country. They prohibit discrimination against employees based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

It means your employer cannot fire, demote or discriminate against you because you are pregnant or have a pregnancy-related condition. It is unlawful, and you can take legal action against them.

Your employer is required to provide reasonable accommodation

The law requires your employer to provide reasonable accommodation if your pregnancy prevents you from performing essential job duties unless doing so would create undue hardship to your employer.

Reasonable accommodation may include more frequent restroom breaks, modified work duties or temporary transfers to less strenuous positions. These accommodations are meant to ensure you can continue working safely and efficiently throughout your pregnancy.

You have the right to take a leave

California law also allows you to take a job-protected leave (up to four months) if you are disabled by your pregnancy or related conditions. For instance, you may suffer pregnancy-related conditions like anemia, morning sickness, swelling in the legs, depression or other impairments that limit your normal bodily functions.

The pregnancy disability leave may be paid or unpaid, depending on your situation and needs. It’s worth noting that your employer cannot legally fire you for requesting or taking this leave. Ideally, you should resume work in the same or comparable position when you return.

If you are facing pregnancy discrimination or were fired due to your pregnancy, understanding your rights and seeking qualified legal guidance can help you navigate this challenging situation and get justice.