Can my manager cut my hours because I’m pregnant?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my manager cut my hours because I’m pregnant?

My hours got cut as soon as I told my manager I was pregnant. I’m now 16 weeks and I called my manager today because there’s been a dramatic cut in my hours and I could no longer take it. She first stated that I will need to bring a note from my doctors stating I can work more hours in order to give them to me. However, I read the handbook and it says different.

Asked on October 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Depending on all of the circumstances, you appear to have a valid claim here; this action may well violate both federal and state law. The fact is that employers may not discriminate against pregnant women. That having been said, certain reasonable changes necessitated by the situation are allowed. For example, if a pregnant woman had trouble standing for long periods of time, then she could be moved from a job that required a great deal of standing, even if that meant cutting her hours. However, absent something like that, an employer should not discriminate against a pregnant woman. From what you write, it would be worth consulting directly with an employment law attorney (some will provide free initial consultations) or at least contacting the Department of Industrial Relations.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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