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Women cannot be treated differently because of pregnancy

How women feel during a pregnancy can vary quite a bit, but some women have very difficult pregnancies. During these pregnancies the women may have significant physical issues or there may be issues that develop that can significantly harm the baby.

If these conditions develop, the doctors may tell these women that they need to stop working for a period of time so either the woman or the baby are not seriously harmed. This may be annoying to employers if they lose an employee for a period of time. However, it is illegal for the employers to take any adverse actions against these women, which would be a form of sex discrimination, and must give them leave from work.

In addition to needing to give them time off, they also must ensure that they make certain accommodations at work to allow the women to continue to do their job. This could include different assignments, lighter duty and others. Employers must also not treat pregnant women differently in terms of promotions, job assignments, fringe benefits, such as health benefits, layoffs and other aspects of employment. It is also illegal to harass pregnant women to the point where supervisors have created a hostile work environment for the pregnant women.

Many women in California are pregnant each year and continue to work during the pregnancy. This can prove to be very difficult depending on the complications that may arise during the pregnancy. Sometimes employers may think this is not best for the business and take adverse action against them. This is illegal and the women may have a discrimination claim against the employer. Experienced attorneys understand discrimination and may be able to guide one through the process.

Source: eeoc.gov, "Pregnancy Discrimination" accessed on Sept. 28, 2017

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