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What if I can not start a new job or have to leave after ~ 1 week due to pregnancy complications.

Sacramento, CA |

I am pregnant and supposed to start a new job in several weeks. I have had pregnancy complications and will not be able to perform my duties. If I can't start the job, can they invalidate my contract so I lose my job (it may be months before I can start due to pregnacy + maternity leave)? If I do start, but after several days can't physically tolerate it, will I be able to go on disability with benefits?

thank you

Attorney Answers 2


  1. It is unlawful to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because she is pregnant. However, because you have not worked for the employer at all, you are not eligible for leave under FMLA or PDLL (Pregnancy Disability Leave Law) - which requires at least 1 year of service, over 50 employees, etc. Whether you can qualify for disability benefits is up to the EDD. Check the EDD's website. If you believe your employer is discriminating against you because of your pregnancy or related complications, call an employment law attorney to discuss. If your employer has 5 or more employees, your employer must make efforts to "reasonably accommodate" your condition unless doing so cause an undue hardship.


  2. If your prospective employer has less than five employees, it can basically do anything it wants, including terminating you before you start.

    If your prospective employer has five or more employees, then it is not allowed to discriminate against you because you are pregnant, or because you have a disability, and it will be required to work with you to reasonably accommodate your needs unless doing so would cause an undue hardship.

    Whether or start on the job or have been accepted to work there but did not actually begin your duties, this above law applies.

    Because you presumably will be unable to work, you will not qualify for unemployment insurance. You may be able to get state disability benefits if you would otherwise qualify.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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