Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is against the law in California, and it can occur in various ways. If you are an employee who is pregnant or who plans to become pregnant, you might encounter discrimination from some employers.
Some examples of this type of discrimination include:
- Refusing to hire a pregnant applicant because she is pregnant
- Terminating an employee because of her pregnancy
- Denying a pregnant employee the time off she needs for doctor visits
- Cutting an employee’s pay or hours because she is pregnant
- Trying to force a pregnant employee to resign from her position
- Not promoting an employee or demoting an employee because of her pregnancy
- Not allowing a pregnant employee to take leave from her position after giving birth
If you find yourself in any of these situations at work, you may have a case against your employer, and you will need a California pregnancy discrimination lawyer.
Pregnancy Protections Under California and Federal Law
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) includes a discrimination act that applies to employers with five or more employees, making it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees based on sex, and this includes pregnancy.
There is also a Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL) that allows female employees to take up to four months of unpaid maternity leave. The leave can apply to disabilities that might occur as a result of the pregnancy, including childbirth or medical conditions associated with pregnancy.
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) gives female employees the right to take up to 12 weeks off each year for situations related to childbirth or adopting a new child. A pregnancy discrimination lawyer can tell you if your employer is covered under this act.
Pregnant women are protected under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), which is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It forces employers to treat female employees the same as they treat other employees, protecting them against discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. The law emphasizes that pregnant employees are entitled to the same treatment as other disabled employees.
The Family Medical and Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) allows new parents of either sex to take unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks following the birth of a new baby; this also includes fostering or adopting a child.
What Can Be Recovered in a Lawsuit
Your pregnancy discrimination lawyer will advise you on what you might be able to recover in a lawsuit, including any of the following:
- Compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
- Back pay and benefits
- Job promotion
You might also be able to recover your legal costs.
Do You Believe You Are a Victim of Pregnancy Discrimination in California?
It is against the law for employers to discriminate against women who are pregnant, and if you believe this has happened to you, then please reach out to our office immediately for a no-obligation complimentary case consultation. Every legal situation is different, but we can deliver real solutions for you. Call (310) 744-5227, email us, or complete our contact form. We never charge for your initial consultation and everything you say will always remain completely confidential, so you never have to worry about anyone knowing you spoke to an attorney.