Because an employer cannot treat an employee differently because she has taken maternity leave, pregnancy discrimination regulations require employers to inform employees of their rights.  The California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) requires California employers to provide up to four months of leave to employees disabled by pregnancy. The four months can be taken all at once around the time of delivery, but can also be taken at any time throughout the pregnancy. PDLL also ensures that pregnant workers have reasonable accommodations for their pregnancy or pregnancy-related health problems.

Under California law, pregnant employees may be transferred to a less strenuous position during their pregnancy and return to their prior position when they are able to do so. A California employee seeking leave under PDLL must give her employer 30 days' advance notice before the leave is to begin, and the employer may require a written medical certification that the employee is disabled due to her pregnancy. Furthermore, a woman who takes a pregnancy leave and returns within the four-month period is guaranteed a return to her previous position. If that position is no longer available, the employer must provide a comparable position at the same pay level, if available.

In addition to pregnancy disability leave, employees may be eligible for addition leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) of up to 12 weeks for the purpose of bonding with their new child.  The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also prohibits employers from discriminating against or harassing pregnant employees. FEHA allows a pregnant employee to take pregnancy leave only if she is disabled by her pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, and the pregnancy leave does not need to be taken at one time. FEHA also mandates that pregnant workers have reasonable accommodations for their pregnancy or pregnancy-related health problems.

A California employee seeking leave under FEHA must give her employer 30 days advance notice before the leave is to begin, and the employer may require a written medical certification that the employee is disabled due to her pregnancy. A California employer must guarantee the pregnant employee a return to her previous position if she returns within the four-month leave period. If that position is no longer available, the employer must provide a comparable position at a similar pay level.

Call the attorneys at Freiman Law now for a free maternity leave and/or pregnancy discrimination consultation at(310) 917-1024 or fill out the form to the right.