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What are my rights as a pregnant waitress?

Working in a customer-facing job such as in a restaurant can be tough. You face long hours and busy shifts, which can be tiring for the body. But it's how you pay the bills, and when you find out that you are pregnant, you know that you will need your job more than ever.

While you are likely joyful that you are expecting a baby, as a waitress or a server you might be worried about how your employer might react to the situation, or how you will have enough energy to perform your job in the last months of pregnancy. It is important to remember that as a pregnant woman you have many legal protections in the workplace. The following are some key rights that you should be aware of so that you can enforce them if the situation arises.

You cannot be fired because of pregnancy

So many women become worried that they will get fired after they tell their employer that they are pregnant. While it is possible to be fired for another reason during your pregnancy, your state of pregnancy and the health issues that may come with it is never a valid reason to be fired. If you were fired and you suspect that the reason was related to your pregnancy, you might want to consider taking legal action.

You cannot be forced to take time off your job if you are still performing well

As a waitress, your employer might wrongfully want to encourage you to take time off work while you are in the later stages of your pregnancy. Your employer has no right to force to to take unpaid leave when you are still competent in your role. As a pregnant woman, you should feel empowered to take unpaid leave for your pregnancy when you feel ready and when you think that it is necessary to do so. It is also unlawful for your employer to base decisions on their own assumptions around your pregnancy and health.

If you are a waitress in California and you are concerned about how your pregnancy is affecting your work, it is important to understand and stand up for your rights.

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