While discovering you are pregnant may be a cause for joy, before you welcome your little bundle of joy you must first navigate the difficulty of being pregnant in the workplace. While things might not be difficult before you begin to show, soon the effects of pregnancy on your body could impact your ability to work up to normal capacity even before you develop a hefty baby bump. You may fear that iif your pregnancy affects your performance, you could lose your job just when you need financial stability the most. But is it even legal for a California employer to fire you for being pregnant?
It absolutely is not. Per the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, pregnancy is a form of disability. This means if your employer does not make reasonable accommodations for your disability, then penalizing you or firing you is a form of discrimination. Reasonable accommodations can include necessary breaks, seating that provides proper back support, and any other necessary changes or adjustments required to either allow you to perform your job appropriately or shifts expectations to more reasonable requirements based on your physical and mental capacity while pregnant.
You are also entitled to PDL, or Pregnancy Disability Leave. PDL gives you time off when your pregnancy, complications due to pregnancy, or loss of a pregnancy significantly impairs your ability to work. Taking PDL protects you from being fired for pregnancy discrimination while absent from work, but does not protect you from employment actions unrelated to your pregnancy – such as layoffs, closures, or other business events impacting employment availability.
This has been an informational blog post for education only, with no basis as actionable legal counsel.