Pregnancy discrimination is an unfortunate reality in certain workplaces in California and all across the country. Malicious employers might use your pregnancy as an excuse to hinder your career or simply to cause you undue stress.
One way this harmful behavior might manifest is by unnecessarily forcing you to use your vacation days for pregnancy disability leave. By understanding your rights surrounding PDL, you can better understand when an employer is overstepping their authority and infringing on your rights.
What are my rights regarding vacation days during PDL?
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing outlines your rights as a pregnant employee, including your right to up to four months of pregnancy disability leave. During this leave period, you have the choice to use vacation days or other forms of paid time off. Your employer may not require the use of vacation leave during pregnancy disability leave but may require you to use accrued sick leave.
What can I do if my employer forces me to use vacation days?
If your employer violates your equal employment rights by forcing you to use vacation days during your pregnancy, or through any other wrongful actions, you may have grounds to pursue action against them. You can start by filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You may also consider further legal action in pursuit of financial compensation for the vacation days you use under your employer’s duress.
Vacation time is a personal employee benefit to use at your own discretion, even during circumstances such as pregnancy. Forcing pregnant employees to use their vacation days is a form of pregnancy discrimination that warrants harsh action against the discriminating individual as well as compensation for the victim.