Pregnancy Discrimination

There is a widespread belief among female workers that pregnancy can alter their position or employment at a company. Discrimination against, and/or termination, based on pregnancy, is illegal and deserves pursuit of a legal case. The fear of retaliation should not prevent you from bringing a lawsuit for the wrongs you have experienced. We can adequately address any concerns or questions you have about these types of cases.

There are numerous laws that are meant to reduce, mediate, or eliminate this type of discrimination. These include: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Each of these acts provides penalties for this type of discrimination, in an effort to preclude such illegal and wrongful behavior.

You have rights as a pregnant employee, including reasonable accommodations, pregnancy disability leave, and assurance of a position upon return. The responsibilities on your part include notification of pregnancy, and written records of medical emergencies and/or needs.

Pregnancy can be a life-altering experience in and of itself. Our ultimate goal is to protect your rights and validate your fears with regard to its potential effects on your livelihood.

Am I Entitled to Receive Accommodations At Work If I am Pregnant?

Yes, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits employers from taking any adverse actions against employees for becoming Pregnant. An employer or any supervisory employee may not harass, demote, fail to provide training or promotional opportunities, or terminate an employee based upon their pregnancy status. In addition, an employer may be required to provide a pregnant employee with time-off either as a statutory right or as a reasonable accommodation to the employee.

How Much Time-Off Can I Take If I Am Pregnant?

The amount of time-of that an employee can take based upon a pregnancy varies based upon a number of factors. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) employees who have worked more than one year for an employer and at least 1,250 hours over the past twelve months preceding the request can take twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave.
In addition, California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law also requires employers to allow employees to take up to four (4) additional months of for any disability related to pregnancy and childbirth. An employee may also be entitled to additional leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) or FEHA as a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy related disabilities.

If I Am Breastfeeding, Does My Employer Have to Provide Me With Breaks To Express Milk?

Under California law employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employee’s who wish to express milk, which may include additional unpaid rest periods beyond those normally required under California law.

If I Am Breastfeeding, Can My Employer Make Me Express Milk in the Bathroom?

No. Employers in California must provide employees with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area where the employee can express milk in private.

Lactation Accommodation

Pursuant to Labor Code Section 1030 every employer, including the state and any political subdivision, must provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee's infant child. The break time shall, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employeeBreak time for an employee that does not run concurrently with the rest time authorized for the employee by the applicable wage order of the Industrial Welfare Commission need not be paid. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area, for the employee to express milk in private. The room or location may include the place where the employee normally works if it otherwise meets the requirements of this section. An employer is not required to provide an employee break time for purposes of lactating if to do so would seriously disrupt the operations of the employer. Lactation Accommodation-Labor Code translation-Spanish

If an employer fails to provide an employee a rest period in accordance with an applicable IWC Order, the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of pay for each workday that the rest period is not provided. Labor Code Section 226.7 Thus, if an employer does not provide all of the rest periods required in a workday, the employee is entitled to one additional hour of pay for that workday, not one additional hour of pay for each rest period that was not provided during that workday.

The rest period is defined as a "net" ten minutes, which means that the rest period begins when the employee reaches an area away from the work area that is appropriate for rest. Employers are required to provide suitable resting facilities that shall be available for employees during working hours in an area separate from the toilet rooms.

Does an employer have to provide an employee with additional break time to express breast milk?

Yes, an employer must provide additional break time to employees who need it.

Does an employer have to pay for the additional time to express breast milk?

No. While the employer must allow an employee to leave the work area to pump, the employer does not have to pay for pumping time, beyond the standard break time.

Can my employer demand a doctor’s note or other medical documentation?

No. Your employer cannot require you to submit any documentation regarding your need to express breast milk.

Does my employer have to provide me with a place to express breast milk?

Yes, your employer must make a reasonable effort to provide you with the use of a room or other location other than a bathroom and in close proximity to your work area. This may include the place where the employee normally works if it otherwise meets the requirements.

(Information From the Department of Industrial Relations Website)


While we hope that the site contains useful information, this website is designed for general information and you should not rely on this website or its contents as a source of legal advice, and obtaining or submitting information through this website does not create an attorney-client and/or confidential relationship. This website is not intended to be used by or relied upon by employers or by anyone outside of the state of California. In addition, although the firm is proud of its prior results, such prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in any future matter. This is attorney advertising and the attorney responsible for this advertising is Lior Barkodar


If you do not see particular practice area relevant to your case described here, please contact us at 323.455.2158 or submit an online case submission. we have contacts with many distinguished law firms, which we can use to get you the representation you need.

Find out how much your case is worth