A Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney Committed to Protecting Womens' Rights

pregnant woman writing on a notepad

Pregnant women, or women who could become pregnant, sometimes face unfair treatment in the workplace. Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) in 1978 to protect the rights of working women. Added as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the PDA outlines how women who are pregnant should be accommodated in the same way as those with disabilities. There are also several California state laws that are aimed at protecting these rights. If you have been the victim of unfair treatment in the workplace, Chris Olsen is an experienced pregnancy discrimination attorney in San Diego, CA, who can assess your claim. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

How are the Rights of Pregnant Employees Protected?

Federal and state law outlines several ways in which an employer is prohibited from discriminating against women who are or may become pregnant:

Hiring

An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman or a woman who may become pregnant in the future, as long as she is able to perform the major functions of her job. Similarly, an employer cannot fire someone because she is pregnant or has a pregnancy-related condition.

Leave

An employer must allow pregnant employees to work as long as they are able to perform their jobs. Additionally, after giving birth, an employee cannot be required by their employer to refrain from work for a predetermined length of time. The same conditions that apply to workers who leave for medical reasons must also apply to pregnant women. Benefits and pay that apply to workers who leave for surgery or a heart attack, for example, are also required for workers who are on leave for pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) grants pregnant employees up to 12 weeks of leave. Up to an additional four months of leave may be warranted if an employee is disabled by pregnancy or a pregnancy-related medical condition, according to the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL).

Temporary Disability

An employer must make reasonable accommodations for a woman impaired by pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition. For example, modifications may be necessary for a pregnant woman who is normally required to lift heavy loads. Pregnancy-related conditions, such as pregnancy-induced sciatica or gestational diabetes, must be treated like other disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law requires that appropriate accommodations be made, as long as they do not cause the employer undue hardship.

Insurance Benefits

Any company-provided health insurance must cover pregnancy-related expenses on the same basis as other medical costs. The amount that the insurance provider pays can be limited, but only to the extent that medical costs for other conditions are limited. Spouses of employees, whether male or female, must receive the same level of health benefits coverage.

Other Employee Benefits

Employee benefits, including accrual of seniority, vacation allowances, pay increases, and temporary disability benefits, must apply to employees with pregnancy-related disabilities in the same way that they apply to employees with other temporary disabilities.

The PDA protects the rights of pregnant employees in many ways. Just as there are laws in place to protect against other forms of discrimination in the workplace, the PDA is meant to allow female employees to maintain their professional lives and still have children.

Learn More About Pregnancy Discrimination

If you think that you have been treated unfairly in the workplace because you are pregnant, contact our office to speak with Mr. Olsen. During your initial visit, he will gather more details about your claim and plan your case. An experienced discrimination attorney can protect your rights and recover compensation that you are owed.

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