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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I have a part-time employee who is pregnant. What are the

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I have a part-time employee who is pregnant. What are the laws regarding employment during pregnancy and termination.
Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I will do everything I can to assist you.

How many total employees does your company have? Also, how long has this particular employee been working for you?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have 3 including my wife. The employee started June 1 2013 and works 4 - 8 hour days a week

Thank you very much for your reply.

Only employers with 5 or more employees are bound by California's Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), which requires such employers to provide pregnant employees with a reasonable period of protected job leave not to exceed 4 months. Other laws, such as the FMLA or California's Baby Bonding Leave Law, apply only to employers with 50 or more employees.

Although there is no specific legislative act that requires employers with less than 5 employees to protect the jobs of pregnant employees, suits for discrimination have and can be brought on the ground that the termination of a pregnant employee constitutes a violation of the state constitution.

Specifically, Article I, § 8 of the California Constitution prohibits discrimination or perferential treatment of hiring and employment of "....any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin..." While the constitution does not specify pregnancy, pregnancy is arguably encompassed within "sex-based" discrimination.

Thus, although the law does not expressly prohibit employers with less than 5 employees to terminate a pregnant employee, the law arguably requires employers with less than 5 employees to reasonably accommodate pregnant employees out on leave and to treat them no differently than they would any other employee out on leave for a similar length of time.

Since you only have three other employees and one is your wife, there is obviously not much of a yardstick for how other employees would or have been treated who need to take time off work. However, the general guideline is to provide any and all accommodations that do not impose "undue hardship." So, if you can hire a temporary worker or get by with no support staff, that would be advisable in order to avoid any charge that you discriminated on the basis of gender.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you I will mull this over!

My pleasure to assist you! Please let me know if I can provide any further clarification. Have a great night.