Does Pregnancy Affect Unemployment Benefits? | Mann & Elias
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Does Pregnancy Affect Unemployment Benefits?


When it comes to being pregnant and unemployed, the federal government has passed numerous laws to ensure mothers-to-be are protected. Any employment attorney in Los Angeles can reveal that there are many resources out there to assist women, including the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

The Family And Medical Leave Act allows both parents to take unpaid time off of work without punishment. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal to fire an employee because they are pregnant. These Acts work to protect expecting families from unethical workplace discrimination.

Pregnant Women Are Eligible For Unemployment Benefits

However, if you lose your job through no fault of your own, are you still eligible for unemployment benefits? Any pregnancy discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles will tell you that you are. It doesn’t matter if your company closes or you get laid off. You are eligible to receive a portion of your salary from the government.

For you to be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must meet the minimum requirements set forth by the government. These requirements must be met by all individuals applying for unemployment, regardless of whether they are pregnant or not.

  • Worked For A Company That Paid Unemployment Benefits
  • You’re Able To Work At A Job That Matches Your Skill Level
  • You Were Fired Or Laid Off Through No Fault Of Your Own
  • You Earned Enough Money To Qualify For Benefits

The main caveat to unemployment benefits is that you must be able to work. This is where a lot of people get confused about their unemployment benefits when it comes to pregnancy and maternity leave. It’s best to consult a pregnancy discrimination lawyer for the workplace to get a clear idea of whether or not you qualify for unemployment benefits.

You Must Be Able To Work

It’s a mandatory requirement that anyone filing for unemployment benefits must be able to work at a job that requires an equal skill level to their previous one. As long as you’re still capable of performing your job skills, you’re eligible for unemployment benefits even when you’re pregnant.

However, if you’re unable to perform the skills needed for a job similar to your last one, you’re not eligible for unemployment benefits. An example of this may be an expecting mother who is put on bed rest. In this case, you would need to file for disability insurance instead of unemployment. Once you’re cleared to return to normal workplace duties, you can become eligible for unemployment benefits.

Can You Get Fired For Being Pregnant In Los Angeles?

One of the most common questions that a pregnancy discrimination lawyer gets is, ” can you get fired for being pregnant? “. The simple answer to this question is no. It’s illegal to fire an employee because they are pregnant according to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. As an added side note, it’s also illegal for any potential employer to refuse you a job because you are pregnant.

How To File For Unemployment Benefits

In most states, you can simply go online to sign up for unemployment benefits. As your experienced Los Angeles workplace attorney will tell you, you will never be asked by an unemployment office if you are pregnant. However, they will ask if you’re available to work. Again, you must be physically capable of working the same job skills as your previous job to be eligible for unemployment.

Once approved, you’re eligible for benefits as long as you’re able to work. You’ll need to file weekly to receive your benefits. When you give birth, you’ll need to file that you were unable to work that week. All of your information will remain in the unemployment benefits system for future use. Once you’re physically capable of returning to work, your benefits will resume.

What Can Make You Ineligible For Benefits?

Not all persons who find themselves without a job are eligible for unemployment benefits. There are a few key circumstances that will disqualify you from these benefits. These include:

Insufficient Earnings

The amount of money that you receive weekly for your unemployment benefits will vary depending on your earnings over a specific period of time. This period usually includes the previous year. In most states, you must’ve at least worked for a minimum of one year to file for unemployment benefits.

Self-Employed / Independent Workers

Individuals who were self-employed or worked as independent contractors are not eligible to receive these benefits.

Justifiable Firing

If your employer has specific proof that you were fired due to alleged misconduct, illegal behavior, or some other inappropriate behavior, then you’re not eligible for benefits.

No Good Cause For Quitting

If you decide to end your employment without a good cause, then you’re ineligible for benefits. The definition of good cause will vary depending on the specific state that you live in. Some examples of quitting that don’t have good cause include leaving because you’re dissatisfied with the company, you decide to attend school instead, or quit because of a labor dispute.

Giving False Information

You must provide accurate information when filing your unemployment paperwork. If any part of your information is inaccurate, it could render you ineligible for unemployment benefits.

What Happens If You Get Denied Benefits?

Any workplace pregnancy discrimination attorney can assist you in filing an appeal if you’ve been denied unemployment benefits. Each state has a different process for handling appeals, so it’s best to check in with your lawyer for more accurate information in your state.

Understanding your rights when it comes to unemployment benefits is a must. As long as you are able to physically work and you left your previous job through no fault of your own, you’re eligible for unemployment benefits.


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