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Pregnancy discrimination: What you should never hear as a woman

Women are protected against pregnancy discrimination in California workplaces. This means that if you get pregnant, you don’t have to fear for your job, and you don’t have to put up with any kind of harassing comments.

Here are a few comments you should never have to endure as a pregnant woman in California:

  • You need to have a doctor’s note in order to keep performing your job duties. It is unlawful to tell a pregnant woman that she can no longer perform her job duties. If there is a question as to a woman’s ability to continue to safely perform her job, she must undergo the same kinds of abilities tests as other nonpregnant employees. An employee cannot be told to stop performing her job duties based on pregnancy status alone.
  • You can’t leave early to go to doctor’s appointments. A woman who is pregnant receives the same rights and privileges of every other employee who requires medical care for non-pregnancy purposes. An employer must allow employees to go to the doctor when needed, no matter what their health circumstances happen to be. A pregnant woman who ignores her employer’s refusal to let her leave early and leaves anyway will be protected from being fired and from other forms of retaliation.
  • You can’t have more than your usual number of bathroom breaks. A pregnant woman must be given certain types of reasonable accommodations, such as being able to go to the bathroom when needed.

If you are pregnant and working, there is no reason to fear for your job. Furthermore, if you suffer negative employment consequences or discrimination as a result of your pregnancy, you can fight to assert your legal rights in court.

Source: abovethelaw.com, “8 Helpful Hints On What Not To Say (Or Do) To A Pregnant Employee,” Richard B. Cohen, accessed March 22, 2018

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