Bringing a new life into the world is a beautiful event of which you should be proud. Unfortunately, some California employers may not agree. The State of California strongly prohibits any type of discrimination because of pregnancy, childbirth, or anything related to such events. Some employers may walk a very fine line and try to get away with such practices. These are four examples of discrimination so that you can review your unique situation and take the right avenue if you need help.

1. Denying a Transfer Request

Under California law, an employer is obligated to honor your transfer request if it will protect you from harm while you’re pregnant or recovering from birth. You can request that your employer transfer you to a job or department that has less physical labor, less walking time, or less harmful substance exposure. You are well within your rights to request a temporary move, and your employer must oblige you if a position is available. If the position is not available, you may be eligible to receive light-duty assignments for the rest of your pregnancy. 

2. Denying Your Leave Request

You have a right under at least two significant legislations to take a leave from your job if it’s related to pregnancy, childbirth, or recovery from such situations. The Family Medical Leave Act entitles you to up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to have your child, recover, and care for your child once he or she enters the world. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act provides you with up to four months of leave time if it’s medically necessary. Your employer must comply with these legislations and grant you with time off that’s related to your condition. You have an obligation to provide your employer with enough notification before you take your leave. Thirty days is usually ample time to give notification so that your employer can find a suitable replacement. Failure to notify your employer of an impending leave may complicate the case if your employer denies it.

3. Refusing Reasonable Accommodations

Your employer is also obligated to accommodate you in ways that protect you from extreme fatigue, injuries, and strains. For example, your employer will have to provide you with a stool or chair if you need to sit because of a pregnancy-related varicose vein situation. The employer should provide you with frequent breaks if you need to urinate more than usual because of your condition. Your employer may have to provide you with water or ensure that you have access to it at all times to prevent dehydration. There are many examples of accommodations that can fit the description. You may have a case if your employer refuses to give them to you.

4. Denying You a Promotion

Your employer can deny you a promotion if you are not qualified for the position, or the employer feels that someone else is more qualified for it. Your employer cannot deny you a promotion because of your pregnancy or pregnancy-related status, however. You may have a case if you feel that your employer denied you a promotion for those reasons. An attorney will review the circumstances and let you know if you are eligible for representation based on the information you provide.

We are a group of experienced and compassionate employment law attorneys who appreciate your family values and care about your well-being. Contact us for a consultation if you believe that you’ve fallen victim to pregnancy or childbirth discrimination. One of our caring experts will listen to the details of your case and let you know how we can assist you.

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