PREGNANCY ACCOMMODATION IN CALIFORNIA « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


New, Simpler Certification Form for Disability Leave, Transfer and Other Reasonable Accommodation

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers with five or more on payroll to provide pregnancy disability leave, transfer and/or other reasonable accommodation due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. A woman is “disabled by pregnancy” if her health care provider determines: (i) she is unable because of pregnancy to perform any one or more of her job’s essential functions without undue risk to herself, her baby, or others; or (ii) she is suffering from severe morning sickness or needs time off for prenatal or postnatal care, bed rest, gestational diabetes, or other pregnancy-related physical conditions.

Employers may require written medical certification as a condition of granting reasonable accommodation, job transfer or pregnancy disability leave. If so required, the pregnant employee must be given at least 15 calendar days to submit the medical certification.

If the employee fails to give her employer reasonable advance notice (other than in emergency situations) or does not provide written medical certification when required, then the employer may be justified in delaying the reasonable accommodation, transfer, or pregnancy disability leave.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently reformatted and simplified its Certification of Health Care Provider form, which employers may download and issue to pregnant employees in these circumstances.

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For further assistance, please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

November 15, 2018