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How does federal law protect pregnant women from discrimination?

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2021 | Pregnancy Discrimination

Expecting a child can be one of life’s greatest joys, but this joy can be overshadowed if an expecting parent in California is treated unfairly at work due to the pregnancy. Fortunately, federal law provides strong protections against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

What is pregnancy discrimination?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pregnancy discrimination occurs when a female employee or job applicant is treated unfairly in the workplace due to pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. It is against the law to harass a woman in such situations to the point that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or leads to an adverse employment decision. The person committing the discrimination may be a supervisor (either the woman’s supervisor or a supervisor in another part of the business), a co-worker or even clients or customers.

Pregnancy and temporary disability

If a pregnant woman is temporarily unable to do his or her job due to the pregnancy or childbirth, her employer must treat her just as they would any other temporarily disabled employee. This may mean assigning the pregnant employee to light duty or alternative assignments. It may also mean providing the pregnant employee with disability leave or unpaid leave if such leave is available to other workers with a temporary disability.

Learn more about pregnancy discrimination in California

Pregnancy, while it can be exhilarating can also be a source of anxiety, especially if a woman fears going to work or is demoted or laid off. When this happens, the woman has legal rights and avenues she can pursue. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about pregnancy discrimination in California are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.


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