Pregnancy Leave and Discrimination
When a woman becomes pregnant, keeping up with the demands of a job can become challenging. In addition, many women need a rest after actually giving birth. Employers have not always been understanding of this, necessitating the need for legal action. Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), pregnant mothers have the ability to take up to four months off surrounding the time of the birth of their child. It can be before or after, whenever the pregnancy causes a woman to be unable to work. Some women choose to take their time off after giving birth so that they have the opportunity to spend the time with their child, bonding and caring for them. If an employer chooses to extend the time a mother is allowed for other disabilities, this extension will also need to be granted to other expecting mothers. Leave is outlined under the government code and pregnant mothers are covered under Government Code §12945 for disability leave.
Maternity leave is paid time off and mothers are able to leave their job legally without an employer firing them for doing so. Some employers choose to ignore this rule or try to find ways around it, believing they are at a loss for paying a pregnant mother that is not actually working during those four months or may not work at her optimal level before or after that time. This is illegal and can be grounds for a lawsuit. This issue is also further covered in The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. Discrimination in the workplace should not be tolerated and a person cannot be let go for prejudices that an employer may have. If you are the victim of this type of treatment and believe you were let go due to pregnancy, speak to an attorney from the Employment Lawyer’s Group to find out if you have grounds for a case or visit their website.