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Accommodating Pregnancy at Work

While all women hope for an easy pregnancy, pregnancy causes a woman’s body to change--dramatically.   Often, this means that women need accommodations to do work they did without accommodations before pregnancy.

In California it is unlawful for employers with five or more employees to refuse to provide reasonable accommodation for an employee for conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, if she so requests, with the advice of her health care provider.  

What is a “reasonable accommodation” may vary depending on a woman’s position and employer.  But, if you require a change in job functions during your pregnancy, you should make a request to your employer.  The type and variety of accommodations are as varied as job types.  Some common accommodations include: no heavy lifting, no climbing on ladders, no air travel, allowing more frequent breaks, the ability to eat every 2 hours, etc. 

To be on the safe side, it is advisable to provide a doctor’s note specifying the accommodations needed and that the accommodation is necessary due to pregnancy.  You do not need to advise your employer of any specific health problems.  If you are unable to get a doctor’s note prior to your need for an accommodation, you should inform your supervisor and Human Resources of your need for an accommodation due to pregnancy and obtain a doctor’s note as soon as possible.

Regardless of the accommodation needed, make sure you notify your employer – the health of your baby is too important not to!                      

For more information on Accommodating Pregnancy at Work and other rights to leave during and after pregnancy, visit or call Attorney Sarah B. Schlehr directly at (310) 492-5757.

This Belly Scoop has been sponsored by Ms. Pregnancy Lawyer, Sarah B. Schlehr!


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Sarah Schlehr, your pregnancy lawyer






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