In California, employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers and applicants for many reasons. They cannot discriminate because of sex, ethnicity, nation of origin or race. Another condition that is protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is pregnancy. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is an amendment to this act that prohibits any type of discrimination based on childbirth, pregnancy or any related medical conditions.

If you are pregnant and applying for a job, an employer is prohibited from not hiring you for reasons based on your condition if you are able to perform the required functions of the job. Pay, promotions, job assignments, layoffs, firing, fringe benefits and all other employment terms cannot be affected by a woman’s pregnancy.

In addition to the PDA, the Family and Medical Leave Act requires that new parents, including those who foster and adopt, are given 12 weeks of leave from work to care for the new child. In this case, you must have been with the employer for more than a year and employers are only required to follow this rule if they have a certain number of employees.

When an employee’s pregnancy leaves her temporarily unable to do her job, she must be treated as if she had any other temporary disability. This may include offering modified tasks, lighter duty, disability leave, alternative assignments or leave without pay.

If your employer provides you with health insurance, they must cover any expenses incurred by a condition related to pregnancy and childbirth. These guidelines follow the same ones for those who have any other medical condition. Health insurance must be given for the spouses of female employees and the spouses of male employees at the same level.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.