Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers in California
In the United States, about 75% of the 68 plus million working women will become pregnant at some point during their working lives. Unfortunately, women have long been discriminated against at work over pregnancies and even simply because employers felt they may get pregnant in the near future!
If you feel that your employer terminated your employment or mistreated you in any other way because of your pregnancy, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation. At Rastegar Law Group, there is no fee unless and until we obtain a recovery for you.
Pregnancy Discrimination Laws
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
In 1978, Congress stepped in and passed an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to help eliminate workplace discrimination in regards to pregnancies. This amendment is known as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) states that discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII. This makes it illegal for employers (with 15 or more employees) to discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act
In the state of California, women are afforded even more protection against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on physical disability, medical condition, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law
A 1978 amendment to the FEHA, known as the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), requires employers to provide an unpaid job-protected leave to employees that were disabled by pregnancy for up to four months.
The California Family Rights Act
Another California law to do with pregnancy discrimination at work is the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). This law allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of paid, or unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12 month period. While on leave, employees are entitled to the same employer paid health benefits as when they were working. Employees may take this leave for the birth of a child or adoption or foster care placement, to care for an immediate family member that has a serious health condition, or when the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition.
While those are three major laws regarding pregnancy discrimination in California, there are a plethora of additional workplace discrimination laws which may impact your own case or pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. A good pregnancy discrimination lawyer, like those at Rastegar Law Group, will be able to help identify which specific laws are best cited in your case.
California Lawyers for Pregnancy Discrimination
If you feel that you have faced workplace discrimination, contact the pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Rastegar Law Group for a free and confidential case evaluation today. There is no fee unless we obtain a recovery for you.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace
Wrongful Termination of a Pregnant Employee
The firing of an employee for being pregnant is illegal. The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) states that discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII.
Despite this, the wrongful termination of pregnant employees still happens today. Many employers simply don’t know the law. In these types of cases, employers often fire employees for being pregnant as they don’t think the employee will be able to perform their job while pregnant (for instance, a job where an employee needs to lift heavy objects), or they are doing it for what they feel are the safety needs of the employee. The safety of a pregnant employee is a matter for her and her physician, not her employer.
Harassing an Employee for Being Pregnant
If you are regularly subject to derogatory comments at work regarding your pregnancy and these either interfere with your work performance or create a hostile environment, this then may constitute workplace harassment. These sorts of comments may be remarks about your appearance, unwelcome jokes, insults, threats, unwanted touching, intimidation, and even physical assault.
You may find pregnancy harassment being directed at you by an employer, boss, superior, co-worker, business partner, client, or customer. Refusing to hire someone on the basis of them being pregnant or the potential that they may become pregnant. A company may not refuse to hire someone based on the fact the person is or may become pregnant. They often will say something to a pregnant applicant along the lines of “we’re concerned about a potential disruption in work.” This is illegal pregnancy discrimination.
Failing to Provide Reasonable Accommodation to a Pregnant Employee
A pregnant employee has a right to the same reasonable accommodations as are being made for other employees. If another employee is getting light work due to an injury, then the pregnant employee also has a right to lighter work due to being pregnant. Reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees typically may include changes in schedule and being given a place to sit rather than constantly standing. An employee likely will need to provide a note from their physician to their employee in order to receive these reasonable accommodations.
Firing or Discriminating Against an Employee for Pumping Breast Milk
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) stipulates that employee’s who are new mothers are entitled to the opportunity to pump breast milk in a safe, private place other than a bathroom and must be given reasonable breaks to do so.
A company with less than 50 employees may not be required to provide these breaks or private spaces if they can prove that it would create an “undue hardship” for them.
Forcing an Employee to Take Time Off, Switch Jobs, or Not Considering Them for a Promotion Due to a Pregnancy
Employers sometimes force employees into taking time off, switching jobs, or pass them over for promotions due to a pregnancy, after they have given birth, or simply because they may become pregnant in the future.
As long as an employee can perform her job, she must be allowed to do so. Any safety concerns are up to the employee and her physician. Employers are not legally allowed to make assumptions about their employees pregnancies.
Discriminating against an employee who may potentially become pregnant
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) states that discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII.
This includes simply discriminating against a woman because she MAY become pregnant.
Restricting an employee’s pregnancy related leave
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), employees are entitled to time off due to pregnancies.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employer must allow the pregnant employee to return to her job or one that’s similar in pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of paid, or unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12 month period.
The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), requires employers to provide an unpaid job-protected leave to employees that were disabled by pregnancy for up to four months.
Retaliation Over Pregnancy Discrimination Complaints
Once a pregnancy discrimination complaint has been made, employers sometimes retaliate against employees by harassing, demoting, or even wrongfully terminating them.
Over the last ten years, the EEOC reports that retaliation is the most common form of discrimination in federal cases.
San Diego and Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys
If any of these examples of pregnancy discrimination seem to be what you are facing or faced at work, you may have a case against your employer. Contact the San Diego and Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Rastegar Law Group for a free and confidential case evaluation today. There is no fee unless we obtain a recovery for you.
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