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What Rights Do I Have at Work in California If I Keep Working While Pregnant?


Many women choose to keep working throughout their pregnancy, whether out of need for income, a desire to keep advancing in their career, or simply enjoyment of their work. California employees at businesses of five or more employees have a right to up to four months of disability leave under California Pregnancy Disability Leave law (it may seem odd to think of pregnancy as a “disability” but that is a general legal term for health care matters that affect your ability to do your job).

Furthermore, those employees who have worked for one year at a job for at least 1250 hours, and whose employers employ at least 20 employees within a 75-mile radius, are able to take up to 12 weeks of leave for parental bonding after a child’s birth, whether they are male or female.

But your rights to employee protections related to pregnancy are not just limited to taking time off. Pregnant employees also enjoy special protections while working on the job.

Your Rights to Reasonable Accommodations When Working While Pregnant

Under California law, you have the right to receive “reasonable accommodations” from your employer which allow you to do your job, even when the strains and complications of your pregnancy manifest.

Issues that you might experience during a pregnancy which could qualify you to receive a reasonable accommodation include:

  • Morning sickness
  • Depression (both prenatal and postpartum)
  • Prenatal or postnatal care
  • Preeclampsia
  • Lactation issues
  • Need for bed rest

If you are experiencing one of the above or other conditions related to pregnancy, your health care provider may recommend that you have a reasonable accommodation while working, depending on the nature of your job and duties. These reasonable accommodations to be provided by your employer might include, among other things:

  • The ability to leave work during the work day (or coming in late or leaving early) to receive healthcare
  • Modifying your work duties so that they are less strenuous
  • Allowing you to take more and/or longer rest or bathroom breaks than usual
  • Providing you with different equipment to do your job
  • Providing you with a different seating or desk arrangement to accommodate your work
  • Transferring you to a different department or role within the company
  • Allowing you to have private lactation accommodations

If your employer has refused to provide you with a reasonable accommodation during your pregnancy – or if your employer has discriminated or harassed you on account of your pregnancy or failed to provide you with Pregnancy Disability Leave – then you may be able to bring a lawsuit for financial recovery due to the employer’s illegal actions.

Contact a Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney Today

If you suspect that you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, work with the employment law team at LawPLA who can help you assess your situation and understand what legal options are available to you. Contact LawPLA today to schedule a consultation to discuss your potential pregnancy discrimination law claim.


PLEASE NOTE: This is not a representation, warranty, or guarantee of a future result or outcome. Every case is different just like every one of our clients.