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Protections for women through the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

In many instances people in California are very happy about becoming pregnant. It can also be a joyous time for the friends and family of the person having the child.

However, not everyone around the person may be excited about the pregnancy. These people could include the women's employers. When women become pregnant, they will eventually need maternity leave after the birth of the child, and raising children may require people to take time off of work from time to time.

If employees are missing time for any reason, it can create complications for the employer. However, even though it may be inconvenient, that does not mean that the employer can discriminate against the employee for any pregnancy related reasons.

The actions that are prohibited are firing, demoting, refusal to hire and other actions detrimental to a pregnant woman. Women are protected for current pregnancies; past pregnancies, which also protects women from actions after they give birth, and future pregnancies, which prohibits adverse actions the discourage a woman from becoming pregnant.

Like other forms of employment discrimination, proving that an adverse action was based on discriminatory reasons can be difficult. So, it is important that people pay attention to the circumstantial evidence surrounding an employer's decision. If an employer begins to treat a women differently after learning that the woman is pregnant or shortly after giving birth, it could demonstrate that the basis for the adverse action is discriminatory.

Many women in California become pregnant each year. Many of these women will continue to work during the pregnancy and after it as well. These women may need to take time off or need special accommodations and employers are required to provide it. If they do not or take other adverse actions against the women due to the pregnancies they may need to compensate the employees for the damages they cause. Pregnant women have rights and experienced attorneys may be able to help protect them.

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