Pregnancy and Maternity Leave Discrimination:
Under California law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (or FEHA), Pregnancy Discrimination is unlawful. California law protects employees against maternity leave discrimination or harassment because of an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or any related medical condition (referred to below as “because of pregnancy”). California law also prohibits employers from denying or interfering with an employee’s pregnancy-related employment rights.
Under the FEHA, it is unlawful for an employer (with five or more employees) to engage in adverse employment practices against a person on the basis of “sex,” a term defined to include “pregnancy or medical conditions related to pregnancy.” Specifically, an employer cannot, based on a person’s pregnancy:
(1) Refuse to hire or employ the person or refuse to select the person for a training program leading to employment
(2) Bar or discharge the person from employment or from a training program leading to employment -or-
(3) Discriminate against the person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment
- EMPLOYERS MUST PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION OF PREGNANCY-RELATED MEDICAL NEEDS:
An employer must reasonably accommodate your medical needs related to your pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions. A reasonable accommodation might include temporarily modifying work duties, providing seating, or allowing more frequent breaks if medically needed because of your pregnancy. Accommodation might also include transferring you to a less strenuous or hazardous position (where one is available).
EMPLOYEE PREGNANCY DISABILITY LEAVE
An employer must provide you with pregnancy disability leave (PDL) of up to four months (the working days you normally would work in one-third of a year or 17 and 1/3 weeks) and return you to your same job when you are no longer disabled by your pregnancy or, in certain instances, to a comparable job. Your health care provider determines how much leave time you will need. Once your employer has been informed that you need to take PDL, your employer must guarantee in writing that you can return to work in your same position if you request a written guarantee. PDL does not need to be taken all at once but can be taken on an as-needed basis as required by your health care provider, including intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule, all of which counts against your four month entitlement to leave.
You may also be entitled to additional 12 weeks of medical leave under Federal Law if you meet the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
EMPLOYEES SHOULD PROVIDE REASONABLE NOTICE OF THEIR NEED FOR PREGNANCY
Give Your Employer Reasonable Notice: To receive reasonable accommodation, obtain a transfer, or take PDL, you must give your employer sufficient notice for your employer to make appropriate plans. Sufficient notice generally means 30 days’ advance notice if the need for the reasonable accommodation, transfer, or PDL is foreseeable, otherwise as soon as practicable if the need for leave is an emergency or unforeseeable.
Provide a Written Medical Certification from Your Health Care Provider: Except in a medical emergency where there is no time to obtain it, your employer may require you to supply a written medical certification from your health care provider of the medical need for your reasonable accommodation, transfer or PDL.
If the need is an emergency or unforeseeable, you must provide this certification within the time frame your employer requests, unless it is not practicable for you to do so under the circumstances despite your diligent, good faith efforts. Your employer must provide at least 15 calendar days for you to submit the certification. Your employer may have a medical certification form to give to your health care provider to complete.
If you feel that you have been the victim of maternity leave discrimination or harassment due to your pregnancy, please contact Blady Workforce Law Group at (323) 933-1352 for a complimentary consultation to help you determine the best course of action…