"Guess What, I’m Pregnant!" New laws govern how employers must respond to pregnant women
January 25, 2013

Source: Simi Valley Acorn.

Photo: Karen L. GablerCalifornia law has long protected pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace. New laws effective Dec. 30, provide even greater protection to women disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The highlights include:

  1. Updated notices must be posted in the workplace and provided to pregnant employees. The notices can be downloaded under the “Publications” section at www.dfeh.ca.gov.
  2. Employers must notify employees in writing when a medical certification is required and must provide a form for the health care provider to complete. The regulations include an approved form entitled “Certification of Health Care Provider for Pregnancy Disability Leave, Transfer and/or Reasonable Accommodation.”
  3. The four-month period available for disability leave is now defined as the number of days the employee would normally work within four calendar months, if the leave is taken continuously. If an employee’s schedule varies, average the hours worked over the four months.
  4. The term “disabled by pregnancy” is expanded to include time off for postnatal care, bed rest, gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, post-partum depression, childbirth, loss or end of pregnancy and recovery from childbirth, loss or end of pregnancy.
  5. It was already unlawful to discriminate against or harass an employee because of that employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. It is now unlawful to do so based on the employer’s perception of pregnancy.
  6. Employers now must accommodate a woman who needs a private place to express milk, in addition to women disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

For further information regarding pregnancy disability leave, or other employment law issues, contact Karen L. Gabler at kgabler@lightgablerlaw.com.

Karen L. Gabler is an employment attorney at LightGabler, a business law firm specializing in employment law, intellectual property and business litigation. Further information can be found at www.lightgablerlaw.com.