Pregnant workers in California may benefit from learning what is considered workplace pregnancy discrimination. In some cases, this type of discrimination may be hard to identify and prove.
Employers have several obligations when they are notified of an employee's pregnancy. First, they are bound to provide reasonable accommodations that allow the employee to continue to perform her job without risk to her herself or her baby. One of the accommodations should include maternity leave. Others may entail assigning different job duties or changing work shifts to be able to attend medical appointments. Employers are also required to allow a pregnant employee to continue to work until she has to stop because of medical reasons.
The employer and coworkers are not to conduct any types of harassment towards an employee because of her pregnancy. Employers are not permitted to terminate, demote or in any other manner punish an employee for becoming pregnant. The employee cannot be compelled to postpone her return to work, and she cannot be terminated from her job while she is away on leave.
If a pregnant employee works for an employer that does not offer some form of maternity leave, she may have to apply for leave through the Family Medical Leave Act. While this is an unpaid leave, it does protect the employee's job while she is away.
An attorney who practices employment law may be able to help a victim of workplace discrimination. The employer may be held liable if the employee was subjected to workplace discrimination based on his or her religion, races, sex, age, disability, national origin and more.