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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 5 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.


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