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FAQs About Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Posted on in Employment

pregnancy discrimination, San Jose pregnancy discrimination lawyers, pregnant employee, employment discrimination, temporarily disabled employeePregnant employees in California are afforded a significant amount of legal protection against workplace discrimination. For example, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. In other words, the PDA requires employers to treat pregnant job applicants/employees in the same manner as any other applicant/employee with similar abilities.

Additionally, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides significant protection for pregnant employees, most notably by requiring California employers with 50 or more employees to provide job-protected maternity leave after the birth of a child. However, there seems to be some confusion about California’s pregnancy discrimination in the workplace laws. Consider the following commonly answered questions for further clarification.

Q: What are examples of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace?

A: While some types of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace are overt and obvious, other types of discrimination against pregnant employees are very subtle and at times can even be hard to detect. Common examples of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace include:

  • Offering a jobseeker a position and then withdrawing that offer upon discovering that she is pregnant;
  • Refusing to allow an employee to return to work because she decided to take the maternity leave that she was legally entitled to;
  • Failing to promote a pregnant employee because she is with child; or
  • Firing an employee due to her pregnancy.

Q: Can a California employer refuse to hire a pregnant woman on the basis of her pregnancy?

A: No, a California employer cannot legally refuse to hire a pregnant women simply because she is pregnant. However, it is important to note that an employer can refuse to hire a pregnant woman if her pregnancy would prevent her from performing the major functions of the job for which she is applying.

Q: Can a California employer fire a pregnant employee who is temporarily unable to perform aspects of her job because of her pregnancy?

A: No. Firing such an employee would constitute pregnancy in the workplace discrimination in California. Rather, the law requires the employer to treat the pregnant employee just as they would treat a temporarily disabled employee (for example, they may be required to modify the employee’s tasks, provide disability leave, etc.).

Q: Does the size of your employer matter when filing a pregnancy discrimination in the workplace claim?

A: Under some circumstances, yes, the size of the employer can make a difference in pregnancy discrimination cases. This is because both state and federal pregnancy discrimination laws contain some exceptions for small employers. However, even very small employers can be held accountable for discriminating against pregnant job seekers/employees under some circumstances, so if you are in California and have experienced pregnancy discrimination in the workplace be sure to consult with a local attorney about your legal options.

Reach Out to Us for Legal Advice

At Jachimowicz Law Group, our experienced San Jose pregnancy discrimination lawyers know the law, know your rights, and have time-tested strategies at their disposal for holding California employers accountable for their wrongdoing. Our firm advocates for mothers throughout the Bay Area and offers our legal services on a contingency basis.

Sources:

https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-preg.cfm

https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/employment/

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