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Your Rights as a Pregnant Employee in California

Posted on October 5, 2023 in Employment Law

Do you know your rights as a pregnant employee in California? At Walker Law, we champion the rights of families, and that includes ensuring all of your rights related to pregnancy are fully understood and adhered to. Consider what some of those rights are, and then reach out to our San Diego employment lawyers if you have any questions or concerns.

Your Employer Has Key Obligations to You

Your employer has several responsibilities to you as a pregnant employee. That includes:

  • They must accommodate your medical needs as best as possible in relation to both pregnancy and childbirth. If you need modifications to be off your feet per your doctor, they need to try to work with you on this.
  • Your employer must put you in a less hazardous or stressful environment if advised to do so.
  • Give you up to four months of pregnancy disability leave. This should amount to the same hours of work that you typically work. You also must be able to step back into your role after that period of time.
  • Provide break time and use of a location with privacy to express breast milk.
  • Most importantly, they cannot, in any way, discriminate or harass you about the pregnancy.

You Have Obligations as an Employee in California

There are a few things you are responsible for as a pregnant employee in the state.

  • You must provide your employer with reasonable notice when you need to transfer, take leave, or need significant changes to your job. Typically, that means providing 30 days of advance notice to accommodate your leave, for example.
  • You must provide medical documentation from your healthcare provider in most situations, though emergency medical situations may not require this. The documentation should show what your doctor is requiring or recommended for you.

If you do not take these steps, the employer has the right to delay reasonable accommodations, including transfers and pregnancy disability leave.

What to Know About Pregnancy Leave Disability

There are a few requirements that fall under pregnancy leave disability you should be aware of:

  • It’s not an automatic period of time. It is up to your healthcare provider to determine the amount of time you need to take off.
  • Your employer must provide a written statement that states you can return to work in the same position after your disability leave.
  • This leave may include instances of more frequent breaks, both prenatal and postnatal medical appointment support, bed rest, and other care you need. It is typically based on conditions such as gestational diabetes or severe morning sickness.

You may not have to take all of your leave at one time, and it is not guaranteed that your leave will be paid. That is dependent on the employer’s policy.

Are You Unsure About Your Rights?

Understanding your rights as a pregnant employee in California is not easy to do, but our legal team can help you. Contact Walker Law now for a consultation if you believe your rights have been violated or you need further clarification about them. We are here to help you.

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