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California pregnancy accommodation law

An employer is required by law to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee who is disabled by pregnancy. A disability in this context is wide-ranging and can include virtually any pregnancy or childbirth-related medical condition. It can include an employee’s need to take time off for prenatal or postnatal care, bed rest, gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, postpartum depression, childbirth or recovery from childbirth, or loss or end of pregnancy. At Le Clerc & Le Clerc LLP, in San Francisco, our attorneys can help you assert your rights as a pregnant employee.

What Kind Of Accommodation Do You Need?

An accommodation is a reasonable modification to the employer’s regular business operations. For example, if a woman is suffering from severe morning sickness, and she communicates to her employer that her health care provider recommended she start work later because of her morning sickness, the employer is under an affirmative obligation to accommodate that request unless doing so would create an undue hardship (a very high standard).

Additionally, many pregnant women suffer from severe exhaustion. An employee’s request for a modified work schedule to address this, based upon a physician’s recommendation, should routinely be granted by an employer.

An employer cannot circumvent its affirmative obligation to provide reasonable pregnancy accommodations by putting the employee on a pregnancy leave she has not requested. If the employee can no longer perform the essential functions of her own job, she should be given preferential treatment in locating another open position. Alternatively, if the employer has a program for industrially injured employees, the pregnant employee should be placed into that until her health care provider determines she should be taken completely off work.

Contact Us Today If You Believe Your Rights Were Violated

Le Clerc & Le Clerc LLP has extensive experience in representing pregnant employees. If you have requested pregnancy accommodations, and they have been denied, then you should contact us. Call us today at 415-445-0900 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced California lawyer.