This law gives pregnant employees the right to obtain reasonable workplace accommodations and time off for pregnancy related medical conditions.
What Rights do I Have if I Become Pregnant?
If you work for a company in California that has five or more employees, you are fully protected under California law. Not only do you have the right to reasonable accommodations and medical leave, you also have the right to be free from any form of workplace discrimination related to your pregnancy. This means that employers cannot fire, harass, refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate against you.
What are Pregnancy Related Disabilities?
A pregnancy disability is any medical condition caused by your pregnancy that limits your ability to perform your job. Your doctor should determine if you have a pregnancy related disability or if any aspect of your job would put you or your pregnancy at risk. Common pregnancy disabilities include gestational diabetes, hypertension caused by your pregnancy, severe morning sickness, depression, and issues surrounding the loss or end of a pregnancy.
What if I Need Workplace Accommodations Due to my Pregnancy?
The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL) gives you the right to request and receive reasonable workplace accommodations to deal with your medical needs. Here are a few examples of workplace accommodations frequently provided to pregnant employees:
- Longer or more frequent rest breaks
- Changes to your work duties
- Access to a stool or chair to reduce standing time
- Temporary transfer to a new position
- Private lactation room
Can I take Medical Leave due to a Pregnancy Related Medical Condition?
Yes, the PDL provides California employees with the right to take up to 4 months of leave. This leave is in addition to your right to leave under the California Family Rights Act or Family Medical Leave Act. Your doctor will recommend how much leave you need.