Can my employer fire me due to missing work because of pregnancy related issues?

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Can my employer fire me due to missing work because of pregnancy related issues?

I recently returned back to work on 3/17/10 after taking maternity leave. One month later I found out I was pregnant again. Due to the fact that I had just had FMLA I am not eligible for it again. I still have 5 months before I go on leave but I still have to go to doctors appointments and may be taken out for a few days/few weeks at a time due to pre-term complications. I don’t have any more sick time to take so I’m scared to go on appointments or if I do get taken out of work. Can these be counted against me at work or is their a CA pregnancy law that I’m covered under?

Asked on August 24, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under federal law, employers may not discriminate against pregnant women--though this is generally taken to mean that they have to treat them the same as people with other medical conditions or disabilities. You might therefore have trouble taking time off for doctor's appointments, etc., if the company policy is that once employees use up their sick leave, they cannot go out on unpaid leave. On the other hand, if the company would let other people take an unpaid day (or just adjust their schedules, if they are hourly and need time off for some reason), then they have to let you do that, too. So the big question is what non-pregnancy accomodations to scheduling or in terms of being able to take unpaid days (when you don't have paid leave) are allowed employees; you may take advantage of them.


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