There are many different types of injuries, illnesses and disabilities that can prevent people in California from being able to work. When this occurs, it can be difficult for both the employee who needs the income and the employer who need their employees to ensure the company runs smoothly. However, the employee is protected in these situations. The employer must allow the employee to take leave and still get their job back when they are healthy enough to return.

Most of these injuries, illnesses or disabilities can occur to either men or women, but some are unique just for women. In past posts we have discussed how women cannot be discriminated against for being pregnant and if they are, it is a form of sex discrimination. Previous posts discussed maternity leave, but there are protections for pregnant women if there are complications during the pregnancy as well.

These are known as pregnancy disabilities. They include a mental or physical condition that arises during the pregnancy that cause undue risk to the pregnancy, preventing the woman from performing the essential job tasks. These include, but are not limited to, severe morning sickness, gestational diabetes, need for bed rest, preeclampsia, hypertension, loss of a pregnancy and others. Women are entitled to up to four months of leave for each pregnancy for these disabilities. Upon return the woman must be reinstated to her old position or one substantially similar.

Many women in California experience complications during a pregnancy which need to be addressed in order to have a healthy baby. These women are allowed by law to take up to four months during a pregnancy to address these issues and the employer cannot take any detrimental action against them for doing so. If the employer does, the woman may be entitled to compensation in addition to reinstatement to their position. Experienced attorneys understand women’s rights and may be able to help protect them.

Source:, “Pregnancy Disability Leave FAQs” accessed Dec. 7, 2017