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Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Workers

Discrimination Attorneys Assisting Employees in Los Angeles

Many women are understandably concerned about telling their employer that they are pregnant. However, workers should let their employer know about their pregnancy if it affects their ability to work. Federal and state laws protect women against pregnancy discrimination, and they allow women to ask for reasonable accommodations for their pregnancies. If your employer is covered by these laws but denies you a reasonable accommodation, you may be able to sue for damages. At The Nourmand Law Firm, our Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyers can provide legal counsel and representation in connection with reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.

Pursuing a Reasonable Accommodation During a Pregnancy

You only obtain the protections provided under the law if your employer knows that you are pregnant. Therefore, you should provide written notice in an email or letter so that if something goes wrong, you can later show that your employer knew about your pregnancy or childbirth. While some women face few changes that affect their work, others may need bed rest, suffer from severe morning sickness, have difficulty moving or walking, develop hormonal changes that result in physical pain, and more.

If you need a reasonable accommodation as a pregnant worker, you should notify your employer in writing. For example, if you need to work later shifts due to severe morning sickness, you should let your employer know this. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit pregnancy discrimination, which includes discrimination related not only to pregnancy but also to pregnancy-related medical conditions, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, giving birth, and breastfeeding. People who are disabled by pregnancy are permitted to ask for a reasonable accommodation so that they can continue working.

Generally, your doctor will advise you if you need a change in your work routine due to pregnancy complications. These accommodations may include a modification of your schedule, more frequent rest breaks, a transfer to less hazardous work, or a modification of your job duties. In some high-risk pregnancies, doctors need to see a pregnant woman more frequently, and a reasonable accommodation may involve more frequent visits to the doctor during work hours if there is no way to see the doctor after hours. When asking for a reasonable accommodation or letting an employer know that your pregnancy is interfering with your work, you should expect to work with the employer to find a reasonable accommodation for the concern.

The process of asking for an accommodation is supposed to be undertaken in good faith by your employer. Once you let your employer know that you need a reasonable accommodation, your employer is supposed to ask questions so that it can figure out an adequate accommodation. The employer, rather than the worker, may choose the accommodation if there are two different accommodations that might work.

Sometimes an employee cannot work, even with an accommodation. This may necessitate taking leave, although your employer may not require you to take this leave rather than provide an accommodation. The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law provides for the possibility of taking leave due to medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Medical leave may be provided if a health care provider submits an opinion that the employee is disabled by pregnancy due to bed rest, preeclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, postpartum depression, and other conditions. You may only take four months of Pregnancy Disability Leave in a 12-month period. However, you may also qualify for additional leave under FEHA, CFRA, FMLA or other state or local laws. In addition, when an employer has a policy of giving more than four months of disability leave for other disabilities, you are also to be provided with the same amount of leave.

Discuss Your Workplace Rights With a Los Angeles Lawyer

Reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers are mandated by law in California. The Nourmand Law Firm may be able to represent you in a lawsuit to pursue damages if you are denied this leave. Our Los Angeles attorneys provide aggressive legal representation to workers who have been harmed in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Azusa, Glendale, Riverside, San Bernardino, Vernon, Montebello, Alhambra, San Diego, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and other areas of San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form for a free appointment with a discrimination or harassment lawyer.

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