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California Pregnancy Discrimination Law

California Pregnancy Discrimination Law

There are state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination against pregnant job applicants and employees. Before these laws were enacted, a woman could be fired or refused a promotion due to her pregnancy. An employer could openly state a pregnant woman wouldn’t be hired. Although these laws are sometimes violated, they’re a big step in the right direction.

If you’re pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, and have questions about the law or need legal representation, talk to a skilled pregnancy discrimination lawyer. Learn about your rights, how California law may apply, and how we can help you. Call us for a FREE consultation at (949) 266-0880, or complete our confidential contact form today.

How Do California Laws Protect Pregnant Job Applicants and Employees?

Employer obligations under the state’s laws include:

  • Reasonably accommodate your medical needs concerning pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions 
  • Transfer you to a less hazardous or strenuous job (if available) or duties if it’s medically required due to your pregnancy
  • Provide pregnancy disability leave (PDL) for up to four months and put you back to your same or comparable job when you are no longer disabled due to your pregnancy 
  • Give you reasonable break time and use of a room or space close to your work area to express breast milk in private 
  • Not harass, discriminate, or retaliate against you based on your pregnancy or seeking the protection or benefits of anti-discrimination laws

In addition to the PDL, you may also qualify for leave under the California Family Rights Act.

How Do Women Benefit from These Laws?

Beyond the “do’s and don’t’s” of state anti-pregnancy discrimination laws, how do women benefit from their provisions?

  • Women should be better able to access and maintain equal employment opportunities. They have the same rights to be hired, promoted, and advanced as their non-pregnant co-workers and fellow applicants
  • They’re also protected against negative employment actions, just as others, in terms of being laid off, fired, demoted, and conditions of employment
  • Thanks to reasonable accommodations, pregnant employees can do their jobs without risking their health or that of their unborn child
  • Maternity and family leaves allow mothers to take time off to recover from childbirth, bond with their newborns, and manage the many challenges of early parenthood without fear of losing their jobs or suffering financial hardship
  • Protection against pregnancy discrimination helps maintain the economic stability of women and their families. By reducing the chances of unfair treatment due to pregnancy, there’s less risk they’ll suffer financial instability at a critical time in their lives
  • If any employer violates a law, state statutes provide them with legal recourse and an avenue for compensation for the harm they suffer. This not only benefits individuals but puts employers on notice of the consequences of breaking the law

Compared to federal and other states’ laws, California’s laws offer better protections for pregnant job applicants and employees, though they’re not 100% effective in preventing discrimination from happening.

How Do Men Benefit from These Laws?

Men, and society in general, also have a stake in the success of pregnancy discrimination laws: 

  • By preventing pregnant individuals from discrimination, their families are more economically stable. Women who are not penalized for pregnancy-related decisions are more likely to maintain financial stability, reducing the risk of poverty and reliance on social welfare and public assistance programs
  • Pregnancy discrimination and leave laws help establish family-friendly workplace policies and encourage a healthier work-life balance for all employees
  • Laws banning pregnancy discrimination contribute to the overall well-being of children and families by ensuring that pregnant individuals can maintain stable employment and financial security
  • These laws send a message that women can become pregnant without facing discrimination and the financial harm that comes with it. This not only encourages families to have more children but also fosters a culture of autonomy and self-determination
  • A pregnant employee may get medical benefits from her job, which may be lost if she is laid off or fired due to her pregnancy. Thanks to health insurance, the employee may receive better and more frequent medical care, which benefits her, her child, and a society that’s better off with healthier members

Employers’ decisions on how workers are treated impact everyone. Do we want a society where people are judged on their merits or stereotypes and biases decide who wins and loses?

Contact Our Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers

If you believe you’re the victim of employment discrimination because of your pregnancy, take action and fight for your rights. Don’t leave workplace discrimination unchecked because it can severely affect your career and well-being.  

If you have legal questions or need legal representation, get help from an experienced pregnancy discrimination attorney at MJB Law Group. Our Tustin pregnancy discrimination attorneys can explain your rights and options and guide you through filing, negotiating, and, if necessary, litigating a discrimination claim.

Call us today at (949) 266-0880 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE case evaluation and consultation.

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