Pregnancy Accommodation Outline of the Law
- An employer of five or more employees is required to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee with a condition related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, when requested and with the advice of the employee’s health care provider. Cal. Gov’t Code
- If an employer has a practice or policy of transferring temporarily disabled employees to less strenuous or hazardous jobs, then the employer must similarly transfer a pregnant employee if she so Cal. Gov’t Code §12945(a)(3)(B). Even if the employer does not have such a practice or policy, if a pregnant woman requests, with the advice of her physician, a temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position for the duration of her pregnancy and the transfer can be reasonably accommodated, then the employer cannot refuse. Cal. Gov’t Code §12945(a)(3)(C).
- Implementing regulations provide that employers must accommodate employees with pregnancy-related disabilities regardless of the length of time they have worked for the employer. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, §11037. Reasonable accommodations include any change in the work environment or the way a job is done that allows an employee who is affected by pregnancy to perform the essential functions of her Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, §11035(s). There is no undue hardship defense.
- Employees disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition are eligible for up to four months of pregnancy disability leave per pregnancy (not per year). Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, §11042(a)(1). Pregnancy disability leave may be taken in addition to the 12 weeks of leave provided by the FMLA and/or CFRA. Employees may be entitled to additional leave as a reasonable accommodation. Sanchez v.Swissport, Inc., 213 Cal. App. 4th 1331 (2013).
- An employer may require medical certification of the need for Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, §1042 (c).