Coyle Browne Law


Do You Have To Tell a Potential Employer That You Are Pregnant?

Understandably, many expectant job seekers wonder if they should disclose pregnancy to a potential employer during an interview process. In California, employment law guards against discrimination on the basis of sex or gender – which includes pregnancy status – ensuring pregnant individuals are protected within the workplace from unfair treatment related to hiring decisions. Note that if you’ve been discriminated against for being pregnant, contact our pregnancy discrimination lawyer in San Diego today.

Federal and State Laws

It’s crucial for applicants to be informed about the legal safeguards in place, such as the right to be free from discrimination in all aspects of employment – hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, and fringe benefits. Employers are also required to treat pregnancy-related disabilities as any other temporary disability, which means women may be entitled to job modifications, leave, or other accommodations.

Understanding Your Rights

Knowing your rights is the first step in protecting yourself. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and similar state laws protect against adverse employment actions due to your pregnancy, potential pregnancy, or any related medical conditions

California law protects employees against discrimination or harassment because of an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or any related medical condition…California law also prohibits employers from denying or interfering with an employee’s pregnancy-related employment rights.

If you experience discrimination in the job application process, you may have grounds for legal action.

Voluntary Disclosure

Sometimes, it can be strategically beneficial to voluntarily disclose your pregnancy, especially if it’s required due to the nature of the job or for your safety. Some women may wish to communicate their pregnancy for logistic planning if they will require maternity leave shortly after being hired.

No Legal Requirement

It’s important to note that there is generally no legal requirement for applicants to inform potential employers about their pregnancy. The decision to disclose or not should ultimately be based on personal judgment and the specifics of the job search.

Negotiating Accommodations

If you choose not to disclose your pregnancy during the hiring process, it’s entirely within your rights to discuss necessary accommodations for your pregnancy once you’re employed. Whether it’s a change in duties, access to a lactation room, or more frequent breaks, your employer is obliged to engage in an interactive process to find a suitable solution that ensures your health and safety.

How an Employment Lawyer Can Help

Employment lawyers are a valuable resource for expectant mothers navigating the job market. They can provide the legal expertise needed to make informed decisions and advocate for the rights of pregnant job seekers. Here’s why a lawyer is important in this situation:

They Can Provide Legal Advice

Employment lawyers can offer tailored legal advice specific to the situation. They can help you understand your rights, evaluate the strength of your discrimination claim, and provide guidance on how to proceed with potential legal action.

They Can Help if Discrimination Occurs

If you believe that you have been discriminated against due to your pregnancy, an employment lawyer can help you file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). They can also represent you in negotiations with your employer or pursue litigation to seek appropriate remedies for the discrimination.

As a job applicant in California, you have the right to privacy and protection against discrimination – pregnancy included. If you find yourself facing uncomfortable questions or feel your rights have been violated during an interview process, it’s crucial to seek legal advice. Contact our employment law attorneys in San Diego today to schedule a free consultation.

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