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Pregnancy Discrimination

What Laws Apply To Pregnant Workers

There are three laws that apply to pregnant workers in California. Whether the law applies to you depends on how many employees work for your employer.

  1. Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL) – applies to employers with 5 or more employees
  2. Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – applies to employers with 5 or more employees
  3. California Family Rights Act (CFRA) – applies to employers with 50 or more employees (this law is California’s equivalent to the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – if the FMLA applies to your employer so does CFRA

In California, Pregnant Women Have The Following Rights:

  1. An employer cannot discriminate against you because you are pregnant, have a medical condition related to your pregnancy, gave birth to a child, or wish to breastfeed
  2. An employer must continue to pay for your health insurance while you are on pregnancy leave
  3. An employer must provide you with reasonable accommodation, such as a transfer to a less strenuous position, if you require such an accommodation during your pregnancy 
  4. An employer must allow you to use sick leave, vacation time, or other accrued time off for compensation during your leave
  5. An employer must provide break time and space for breastfeeding or pumping breastmilk

How Much Pregnancy Leave Are You Entitled To Take

The PDL entitles you to take four months (17 1/3 weeks) of leave from work. After four months, your employer must return you to your same or equivalent position. 

If you work for an employer that has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius, you can take additional leave after the initial four months. If this is the case, the CFRA allows you to take an additional leave of up to 12 weeks to bond with your child so long as you have worked for your employer for more than 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12-month period, and have CFRA leave available. 

The FEHA entitles you to take an additional leave of absence for as long as it takes for you to treat and recover so long as the leave does not create an undue hardship for the employer. 

Breastfeeding After Returning to Work

California law mandates that every employer provide break time and a space for their employees who are nursing to express milk for their children, unless doing so “would seriously disrupt the operations of the employer.” (California Labor Code § 1030.) The law also requires the employer to “make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area, for the employee to express milk in private.”

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

If you feel you have been discriminated against on the basis of race or ethnicity, reach out to FEL today for a free consultation at (619) 306-1454 or info@fairchildemploymentlaw.com.