Pregnancy Discrimination

Expert Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys

If you notice mistreatment in your workplace during your pregnancy, you should speak with a pregnancy discrimination lawyer right away. Your employer may be in violation of your employment rights and you may be able to file a claim against them.

Pregnancy discrimination is a form of gender discrimination. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids discrimination based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment. 

Despite all the state and federal laws put in place to protect women’s rights in the workplace, pregnant women are still being discriminated against everyday. Contact one of our experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyers today for help.

Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace

Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is extremely unfair and unfortunately not uncommon even with the existence of discrimination laws. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has received more than 40,000 pregnancy discrimination complaints from 2010 to 2021.

If there are more than five employees working under a company/organization, the employees are entitled to certain rights and protections. 

Under California state law, if you have provided at least 12 months or 1,250 hours of service, you are entitled up to 12 weeks of parental leave. 

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against their employees because of pregnancy, intentional or not. If you believe you are a target of employment discrimination, consult with one of our employment discrimination attorneys today. 

Can I Get Fired For Being Pregnant?

No, it is illegal for your employer to fire you for being pregnant. This law was first enacted in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stating women cannot be fired on the basis of pregnancy. 

Employers are expected to treat their pregnant employees who are temporarily unable to perform job duties, the same way they treat employees with temporary disabilities. 

Will I Still Get Hired If I’m Pregnant?

Yes, you can still get hired for a job position while pregnant. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act it is illegal for an employer not to hire an individual due to pregnancy, childbirth or any other related medical condition. 

Pregnancy or any pregnancy related condition, should not deter you from seeking new employment opportunities, nor should it be a determining factor in receiving said opportunities. 

What Is Considered Pregnancy Discrimination?

Pregnancy discrimination is any unfair treatment of a woman because she is pregnant, appears  to be pregnant, was previously pregnant or has a condition related to pregnancy.

Pregnancy discrimination is harmful and can exist in the workplace in many ways like:

  • Refusing to hire a woman because she is pregnant or has plans on being pregnant in the future
  • Asking personal questions related to an employee’s pregnancy
  • Disapproving pregnancy time-off related requests i.e doctor’s appointments 
  • Refusing reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees
  • Demoting an employee due to pregnancy
  • Overlooking a pregnant employee for a well deserved promotion/raise
  • Offensive or targeted behavior towards pregnant workers 

Some pregnancy-related conditions may be classified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and may require an employer to provide reasonable accommodations. 

If you are being unfairly mistreated at work after relaying the news of your pregnancy to your employer, you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Please contact one of our California pregnancy discrimination attorneys for more help holding your employer accountable. 

Proving Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace

Unlawful discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace requires tangible proof to file a strong claim. 

In order to prove pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, you will need an expert pregnancy discrimination lawyer. Your lawyer will in turn demonstrate that your employer has treated you unfairly compared to your colleagues. As well as created a harsh or uncomfortable working environment for you, based on your pregnancy. 

If you are experiencing fear and/or anxiety after sharing the news of your pregnancy to your employer, consult with a pregnancy discrimination attorney to ensure your employment rights are being protected. 

California Laws About Pregnancy Discrimination

Discrimination based on pregnancy is illegal in California under both the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the California Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA).

Some state laws provide additional protections including accommodations for pregnant workers, paid and unpaid leaves of absence, pregnancy disability and employee rights regarding lactation.

Maternity Leave Laws In California

The period of time taken off work by a pregnant woman prior to and after childbirth is referred to as maternity leave.

If you can’t work at all and you have no paid leave, you still may be entitled to unpaid leave as an accommodation. You may also qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is enforced by the United States Department of Labor.

California provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for eligible parents in order to bond with and take care of their newborn. However, your employer can decide not to grant you this leave if there are less than 5 employees working in the organization. 

Breastfeeding at Work

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which was an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), requires employers to provide nonexempt employees allowance to lactate

This means if you are a lactating, bottle pumping or breastfeeding mother, your employer must grant you a reasonable amount of break time and a space, to express milk as frequently as needed. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that discrimination based on lactation is sex discrimination or gender discrimination, because only women can lactate.

Pregnancy Disability

pregnancy disability is a physical or mental condition related to pregnancy or childbirth that prevents you from performing the tasks required from your job.

You are entitled to reasonable accommodations at your workplace if your job is causing you undue physical stress and posing a risk to your pregnancy. 

Your primary health care provider will be able to determine if you have a pregnancy disability or not. Some common examples of pregnancy disability medical conditions include:

  • Gestational diabetes


  • Preeclampsia


  • Mastitis
  • Postpartum depression 


  • Miscarriages 

Pregnancy Disability Leave

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) is a leave from work to accommodate female employees who have pregnancy disability. 

You are entitled to 4 months of PDL anytime you become pregnant. However, your primary healthcare provider will determine whether you need more or less time for your PDL. 

Time taken off for pregnancy disability leave will be granted in addition to any other leave you are eligible for under your employer’s policies, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), FMLA, FEHA and other state laws.

Speak with the pregnancy discrimination employment attorneys at West Coast Employment Lawyers. We can provide you with free legal advice if you feel you are being wrongfully discriminated against at work. 

Can I Sue My Employer For Pregnancy Discrimination?

If you are being discriminated against in your workplace for being pregnant, you can sue your employer for pregnancy discrimination. 

You can file a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against your employer and receive compensation for potential loss of income, stress, emotional and physical harm.  

It is important to note that an employer is not required to keep you employed if you are unable to perform your job duties, or pose a safety risk even after reasonable accommodations have been provided. Contact West Coast Employment Lawyers if you have been wrongfully terminated for being pregnant.

West Coast Employment Lawyers Will Help You Fight Against Pregnancy Discrimination In Your Workplace

West Coast Employment Lawyers advocates for women’s rights and will help you fight against pregnancy discrimination in your workplace. Our employment attorneys have over 60 years of experience helping clients who seek fair workplace treatment before and after their babies are born. 

Our employment lawyers have won over $1 billion in financial settlements for our clients. Call us today for free at 213-927-3700 or email us at [email protected]. A member from our dedicated employment legal team will be happy to assist you with all your questions. 

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