What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination falls under the category of sexual discrimination, which occurs when employers discriminate against pregnant ladies, and based on their condition, take discriminative employment decisions. This includes salary reduction, demotions, a change of schedule, reduced hours, poor assignments, and terminations.
If an employer treats a pregnant employee or job applicant less favorably because she is with child, it is pregnancy discrimination. The state of California prohibits job actions and hiring decisions based on an employee’s pregnancy, if the employer has five or more employees. Not hiring, demoting, docking pay, excluding, harassing, or terminating an employee because of pregnancy is against the law.
Pregnancy discrimination can include the following actions by an employer:
- Firing or demoting a pregnant employee because of her pregnancy.
- Refusing to hire a job applicant who is pregnant.
- Changing the employee’s (that is with child) position without explanation.
- Asking an applicant if they plan on becoming pregnant.
- Denying the same or similar job to a pregnant employee when she returns from a pregnancy-related leave.
- Not granting a male employee health insurance coverage for his wife or partner’s pregnancy-related conditions.
- Discriminating against a female employee because she needs to breastfeed or pump.
- Harassing an employee because she is pregnant (e.g., physical assaults, threats, intimidation, or offensive jokes).
- Setting restrictions on medical leave relating to the pregnancy, delivery, or complications.
If any of these situations sound familiar, you might be the victim of pregnancy discrimination. In California, you have rights as an expecting mother.
After childbirth, an employer must grant the employee medical leave for a reasonable amount of time. Under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”), a woman has up to 12 weeks of leave following childbirth to bond with her baby or adopted child. Additionally, under the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”), an employee may be entitled to up to four months of pregnancy disability leave if she is disabled by her pregnancy or a pregnancy-related medical condition. In other words, a woman disabled by pregnancy who then gives birth may take up to seven consecutive months of job-protected leave.
Also, an employer must make reasonable accommodations for a pregnant employee. For example, if the employee is working a job that causes bodily strain or stress, she can request to be moved to a less strenuous position. The failure to reasonably accommodate a pregnant employee constitutes an act of discrimination.
What Are Your Rights As a Pregnant Employee in California?
As a pregnant employee, you have the same rights as other workers, as well as a variety of others specifically in place for expecting mothers. You have the right to a safe and comfortable workplace that does not submit you to hostility or discrimination. You also have special rights based on your pregnancy, such as the right to take reasonable leave without fear of retaliation, and the right to apply for a job without an employer refusing because you’re pregnant.
Unfortunately, some employers engage in pregnancy discrimination after they find out an employee or applicant is pregnant. Some employees might notice changes to their employment status, pay, or privileges. Any adverse employment decisions might result from pregnancy discrimination. If you lose your job, take a pay cut, face harassment, or otherwise experience issues you think are because you’re pregnant, it is a good idea to speak with an Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyer to learn about your legal rights.
For example, employees who experience discrimination can file a lawsuit against their employer. By taking legal action, employees can shed light on the employer’s illegal and discriminatory acts, and potentially protect other women from experiencing the same problem. It can also result in recovery of damages, including lost wages, lost career opportunities, and emotional distress.
Speak to a Local Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
Pregnancy discrimination is against the law in California and comes with several protections and potential legal remedies. As a pregnant woman who believes she has suffered discrimination, if you were victim of such mistreatment from your employer, and were unlawfully terminated just because of your pregnancy, you should immediately seek legal assistance from a professional and file a case against your employer. Get more information about your rights and options with help from the Workers’ Advocate Law Group. Our Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyers will work diligently on your behalf through the use of various investigative techniques and other litigation strategies to help obtain evidence of the discriminatory conduct to help support your case.
Count on an experienced lawyer from Workers’ Advocate Law Group who has extensive experience in fighting for their clients’ employment rights. You can contact our firm online to schedule your free consultation in English or Spanish today. Our team will be more than happy to assist you accordingly.