For many women, pregnancy may come with emotional and physical challenges that can be made significantly worse by an unsupportive work environment. At The Rubin Law Corporation, our Los Angeles lawyers understand that being treated unfairly at work can prevent you from enjoying what should be a happy time in your life.
You have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination due to your pregnancy.
We serve clients in Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego and the entire state of California region. Contact us online or call 310-385-0777 today to learn more about how we can advise you on California pregnancy disability leave regulations.
Los Angeles lawyer, advising you on your pregnancy leave rights
The California Office of Administrative Law has implemented new regulations, effective December 30, 2012, which significantly altered the way pregnancy disability leaves are administered.
Significantly, the definition of what it means to be disabled by pregnancy has been expanded to consider undue risk that essential functions of a job may cause to the employee or her pregnancy. Further, additional symptoms and conditions can also now be considered by a doctor when certifying a woman as disabled by pregnancy, including:
- Severe morning sickness
- Pre- or post-natal care
- Post-partum depression
The regulations also now clarify what is meant by the four months of leave permitted for pregnant employees and place the burden on employers to be proactive in giving notice of employees’ rights regarding pregnancy disability leave. Employers must also be careful to avoid the appearance of discrimination of an employee that is perceived to be pregnant.
Offering Guidance on Reinstatement Rights
California’s new reinstatement requirements, effective in December 2012, require that when an employee returns from pregnancy leave, she must be placed in the exact same position unless reasons unrelated to the leave make it impossible.
In this case, she is still entitled to reinstatement to a virtually identical position. The employer has an obligation to continue looking for a comparable position for 60 days if one is not available at the time of the employee’s return.
Notably, if a mother uses California Family Right Act (CFRA) to bond with her baby following her pregnancy leave, the CFRA controls her rights to return to a comparable position, not the pregnancy disability leave regulations. A mother may also be entitled to additional leave under the ADA or FEHA, and/or reasonable accommodations.
The new pregnancy disability leave regulations provide a list of reasonable accommodations, which may be provided to a female employee, including a transfer or the need for additional bathroom breaks.
Employers are not required to:
- Create a new light duty position unless that is how the company has handled the treatment of other disabilities
- Terminate another employee
- Violate a collective bargaining agreement
We will help you to understand your rights under the new pregnancy disability leave regulations so that you may take advantage of them.