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The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects against pregnancy discrimination by explicitly prohibiting California and Los Angeles employers from harassing, demoting, terminating, or otherwise discriminating against any employee for becoming pregnant. The pregnancy discrimination law applies to all California employers that regularly employ five (5) or more full-time employees in the preceding year. Employees who believe their pregnancy rights are at risk should take their case to a California pregnancy discrimination lawyer.

If you are subjected to unlawful harassment or pregnancy discrimination, with the help of a California pregnancy discrimination lawyer you may be entitled to recover pregnancy discrimination damages for emotional distress, lost wages, punitive damages and pregnancy discrimination lawyer fees.

In addition, the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”) also combats pregnancy discrimination by requiring California employers to provide up to four (4) months of leave for employees actually disabled by pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions. This leave can be taken all at once or intermittently in order to protect the employee from pregnancy discrimination. It is important to note that California’s PDLL requires California employers to provide up to four (4) months of leave for employees actually disabled by pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions even if the employer’s policies do not grant Los Angeles employees (or other California employees) suffering from other cases of short-term disabilities a similar amount of leave. In other words, unlike the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Law (“PDL”), California’s PDLL requires that California employers give pregnant workers special, rather than simply equal treatment. A case of equal treatment would thus also be scrutinized as a form of pregnancy discrimination. Further, the PDLL requires Los Angeles employers (or other California employers) to reasonably accommodate pregnant women at work and to consider granting an extended leave of absence beyond the mandatory four months to pregnant women who continue to be disabled by pregnancy.

In California pregnancy discrimination cases, once the employee has given birth she may be entitled to an additional 12 weeks of leave “for the reason of the birth of a child” under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”), which is California’s version of the FMLA and another protection against pregnancy discrimination. Entitlement to CFRA leave for birth of a child depends on, 1) whether the LA employer employs more than 50 employees within a seventy five mile radius; and 2) whether the Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination employee (or other California employee) worked more than 1250 hours in the 12 months preceding the first day of the requested CFRA leave or any pregnancy disability leave; and 3) whether the employee has more than one year of service with the California employer.

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