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Pregnancy issues: Employers may ask intrusive questions

Pregnancy can often bring about mixed emotions for many California residents. Though learning the news may bring great joy, it may also cause apprehensions. Parents-to-be may worry about possible complications that could arise, and many women may worry about pregnancy issues that could come up in regard to their employment. Discriminating against pregnant women is against the law, but only under certain conditions.

If an employer has at least 15 employees, he or she cannot discriminate against pregnant workers. However, an employer may still ask intrusive questions about the pregnancy or potential pregnancy. For instance, individuals may find themselves caught off guard if their bosses suddenly ask if they are trying to conceive a child. While this question may seem too personal for the workplace, it is legal for an employer to ask.

Additionally, the employer may ask if workers will still be able to carry out their work-related duties. This question may come from a place of concern because a pregnant worker may place herself or others at risk if the pregnancy prevents her from performing her duties properly. As a result, the worker could be placed in a different position but should not be fired or demoted.

While some questions may be prudent to ask in terms of safety, many California workers may wonder if certain questions may be allowing employers to take pregnancy issues into consideration when hiring or during other job-related tasks. If individuals believe this may be the case, they may wish to remind their bosses that such considerations are unlawful. If individuals have faced negative repercussions on the job due to pregnancy or potential pregnancy, they may wish to find out more information on their legal options for addressing such issues.

Source: romper.com, "What Questions Is Your Workplace Allowed To Ask About Your Pregnancy? Here's What Every Woman Should Know", Steph Montgomery, Jan. 2, 2018

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