Worker with high-risk pregnancy may get extra leave

A woman who was ordered by her doctor to have complete bed rest after she was diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy may be entitled to more pregnancy leave than is allowed by state law, says the California Court of Appeal.

In this case, the employer gave the woman the four months of pregnancy leave that was required by state law.  But when she was unable to return to work after 19 weeks of leave, it fired her.

The woman sued for disability discrimination.

The court sided with the woman, saying that while the state law allows four months of pregnancy leave, that time period was intended as a minimum, not a maximum.

According to the court, circumstances do arise where a pregnant worker will need more than four months, and in such cases, an employer must accommodate the worker with additional leave as long as this doesn’t pose an “undue hardship” to the business.