Treating an employee or applicant unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy is considered pregnancy discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination is also a form of gender discrimination and is unlawful under both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Pregnancy discrimination is forbidden in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, pay, training, and fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance.
Pregnancy Disability Leave
Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), if pregnancy or childbirth causes a woman to be disabled (in other words, unable to perform the essential functions of her job), employers must accommodate her as if she were a temporarily disabled employee. This may include modified tasks, disability leave, or alternative work assignments.
Under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, a new parent may be eligible for temporary leave to take care of and bond with the new child.
To be eligible for leave, employees and employers must meet certain requirements:
- The employee must be employed by the employer for at least 12 months before the beginning of the leave.
- The employee must wait 12 months from the time the first FMLA or CFRA leave is taken before taking another leave.
- The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months before a leave.
- Only certain employers must comply. The employer must employ at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the employee's work location.