Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Ochoa & Calderon

If Your Employer Will Not Accommodate You, You Need to Act

pregnant woman

High-risk pregnancies can be alarming. If you experience complications during your pregnancy, you might have serious concerns about your health or the health of your child. Regardless, you may be in a financial situation that requires you to continue working. Employers are required to provide accommodations for pregnancy, including high-risk pregnancy. What should you do if your employer refuses to provide accommodations? Read on for a discussion of high-risk pregnancy and workplace accommodation. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against at work, call a seasoned Riverside pregnancy discrimination lawyer for advice on what to do next.

What Is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

Not every pregnancy is high-risk. While all pregnancies are complex, many proceed smoothly without any outstanding health concerns. Women are diagnosed with high-risk pregnancies when they have significant health problems associated with the pregnancy. High-risk pregnancies come with issues such as high blood pressure; lung problems; diabetes; autoimmune disorders; preeclampsia; gestational diabetes; tilted uterus; placenta previa; or even pre-existing conditions such as STDs or HIV.

These conditions create significant health risks that require additional care and attention. Failing to take extra care during a high-risk pregnancy can lead to serious complications for the mother as well as the child.

Employers Are Required to Accommodate Pregnancy, Especially High-Risk Pregnancies

Federal and California labor laws prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy. The right to be free from pregnancy discrimination includes the right to reasonable accommodation. For even a low-complication pregnancy, a reasonable accommodation might include things like longer or additional rest breaks, time off for medical appointments, modified equipment, adjusted work schedule, or transfer to a position with low-impact, less strenuous tasks.

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you might need additional accommodations to allow you to continue working without risking the health of your child or yourself. You may need more time off for doctors’ appointments, more shift adjustments, assistance with certain tasks, temporary medical or disability leave, or other accommodations.

So long as the accommodations are reasonable, your employer must comply. An accommodation is only unreasonable if it creates an undue hardship for your employer, typically because of cost, impact on the workplace for other employers, or the nature of the business operation (i.e., a very small business with few employees and limited control over the facilities). The burden is on your employer to prove an accommodation is not reasonable.

If Your Employer Will Not Accommodate You, You Need to Act

If your employer refuses to accommodate your high-risk pregnancy, you could have a claim for pregnancy discrimination. Reporting your concerns and/or filing a complaint can result in your employer being forced to accommodate your needs or required to compensate you for the hardship they have caused.

You have several options for filing a complaint. You can file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). You may have a claim under the federal Anti-Discrimination Act or Pregnancy Discrimination Act, or California laws including the Fair Employment and Housing Act, Family Rights Act, or other Pregnancy Disability Leave laws. You can also file a lawsuit in state or federal court.

Do not wait to act. If you wait too long, you could face the impossible decision of preserving your livelihood vs. protecting your health and that of your child. Call an experienced pregnancy discrimination attorney for advice and assistance to help you decide upon and take your next steps.

Call an Experienced Labor Law Attorney for Help With California Workplace Discrimination

For help protecting yourself and recovering compensation after experiencing pregnancy discrimination or sexual harassment in Southern California, call Ochoa & Calderón to discuss your case with a dedicated, professional California labor and employment attorney. Call 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 toll-free throughout Southern California.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn