When & How to Disclose Pregnancy at Work: A Brief Guide for California Employees

Expecting mother at work researching pregnancy disclosure

Navigating the waters of pregnancy is challenging enough, but when it comes to announcing the news at work, it can be downright daunting. In this guide, we’ll walk through when and how to disclose pregnancy in the workplace, and what protections exist for pregnant employees in California.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Legal Protections for Pregnant Employees in California
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • When to Disclose Pregnancy at Work
  • Preparing for the Conversation
  • How to Disclose Pregnancy at Work
  • Requesting Accommodations and Leave
  • Understanding Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • Navigating Baby Bonding Leave
  • Dealing with Discrimination or Negative Reactions
  • FAQs
  • How Fraigun Law Group Can Help


Disclosing pregnancy to your employer is a personal decision, but it’s essential to understand the legal landscape in California to make informed choices. This guide provides insights and tips for disclosing pregnancy at work.

Legal Protections for Pregnant Employees in California

In California, pregnant employees are protected under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). These laws prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy and require employers to provide reasonable accommodations.

Source: California Government Code § 12945

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

On the federal level, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. The PDA covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments.

When to Disclose Pregnancy at Work

The timing of your pregnancy disclosure is a personal choice, but consider:

Doctor’s Confirmation: Some people prefer to wait until they have a doctor’s confirmation of the pregnancy.

Beginning of Second Trimester: This is a common time to disclose as the risk of complications decreases.

Before Needing Accommodations: If you will need workplace accommodations, it’s wise to disclose your pregnancy before they become necessary.

Preparing for the Conversation

Here are some steps to prepare for the conversation:

Gather Information: Research your company’s policies on maternity leave and accommodations.

Have a Plan: Think about what you will say and anticipate questions your employer might ask.

How to Disclose Pregnancy at Work

Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with California’s pregnancy laws.

Plan Your Discussion: Decide how you will address the subject, including any accommodations you might need.

Select a Confidant: Typically, your direct supervisor or HR manager should be the first to know.

Document the Discussion: Keep notes of your discussion for your records.

Requesting Accommodations and Leave

After disclosing your pregnancy, you may need to request accommodations such as modified work duties or scheduling. Be specific about your needs and understand your legal rights.

Understanding Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

PDL provides up to four months of leave for pregnancy-related disabilities. CFRA provides an additional 12 weeks for baby bonding.

Navigating Baby Bonding Leave

LGBTQ Moms face the questions: How to disclose pregnancy at work, what about baby bonding?
LGBTQ Moms face the questions: How to disclose pregnancy at work, what about baby bonding?

Baby bonding leave is an essential part of family development. In California, new parents can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to bond with their new child.

Dealing with Discrimination or Negative Reactions

If you face negative repercussions after disclosing your pregnancy, such as demotion, harassment, or termination, know that this is illegal. Keep records of incidents and consult legal counsel if necessary.


  • Is there a legal requirement for when I must disclose my pregnancy?
No, but if you need accommodations or leave, you must provide reasonable advance notice.
  • Can my employer fire me for being pregnant?
No, firing someone because of pregnancy is illegal under California law.

How Fraigun Law Group Can Help

Understanding and navigating pregnancy disclosures and accommodations at work can be complex. If you need guidance or face discrimination after disclosing your pregnancy, Fraigun Law Group is here to assist.

Contact Fraigun Law Group today for a consultation and let our experienced team support you through this important life transition.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you require legal assistance, consult a qualified attorney.



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