Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
Pregnant women face unique challenges during their pregnancy. They often struggle to balance their personal and professional lives with the demands of motherhood. Unfortunately, this makes them vulnerable to workplace discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is illegal under federal law, state law, and local ordinances.
Employers who violate these laws may be subject to fines and other penalties, while the victim may be entitled to compensation. Call the office of Hershey Law at (310) 929-2190 to schedule a free consultation if you or someone close to you has faced pregnancy discrimination at work. We will evaluate your case and help get the justice you deserve.
What Is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination is a type of workplace discrimination that occurs when employers treat pregnant workers unfairly. This often takes the form of denying them job promotions or advancement opportunities, as well as refusing to accommodate their needs or forcing them to take time off. There are also many cases where employers terminate pregnant employees or refuse to hire pregnant women simply because they will take maternity leave.
While pregnancy discrimination still occurs far too often, there are legal protections in place to help prevent it and safeguard the rights of working women. These include laws at both the federal and state levels, as well as other initiatives designed to raise awareness about the issue and educate both employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities.
Common Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination
The most common forms of pregnancy discrimination include:
- Employer’s failure to accommodate an employee’s needs due to her pregnancy (for example, denial of maternity leave).
- Employment termination after giving birth.
- Demotion in job status from supervisor or manager to lower worker.
- Denial of promotion or transfer opportunities.
- Pay differences between pregnant employees and non-pregnant employees.
- Failure to hire a job applicant because of pregnancy.
- Discharge of an employee because she became pregnant.
- A hostile environment in which an employee’s pregnancy is used as a basis for discriminatory conduct.
Federal and California Law Protections
Pregnancy discrimination is covered by both state and federal laws.
The Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, makes it unlawful for any employer to discriminate against you because of your sex – including pregnancy, childbirth, and other related medical conditions.
California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits pregnancy discrimination by employers with 5 or more employees. FEHA also provides additional protections for pregnant mothers such as requiring reasonable accommodations, mandatory mediation, and jury trials.
Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL) allows a pregnant woman to take up to 4 months of unpaid maternity leave without being penalized in terms of benefits, seniority, or pay. The law states that employers must provide female employees with leave (up to four months) in the following situations:
- A pregnancy-related disability
- A medical condition caused by pregnancy or childbirth
California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allows a female employee to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected family health care leave. This includes parenting time after a new child is born.
Under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, the law also states new parents are entitled to unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks, including adoption or fostering.
A pregnant employee must be aware of these legal rights and remedies. If you think that you have been discriminated against at work due to pregnancy, contact a qualified employment attorney to take legal action. Pregnancy discrimination cases can be difficult and complex, but our firm has extensive experience handling these types of claims. We will fight to get you what is rightfully yours!
Lactation Breaks Under California Labor Laws
As a parent, it is important to make sure you are aware of all relevant labor laws regarding lactation breaks. In California, employers are required to provide a reasonable amount of time for every nursing mother who needs it. If possible, the breaks should align with the break times already in place. However, if this is not possible, employers should provide additional unpaid time to express milk. Mothers are also allowed a private place, which is not a bathroom, to pump or express milk without intrusion from coworkers.
The lactation accommodation law applies to every employer in California regardless of the size of the business. However, there are some exceptions to the law. An employer is not required to provide breaks to mothers with a non-infant child or if it will cause serious disruption to the business. Some additional conditions and restrictions may apply, so it is important to consult with an experienced pregnancy discrimination attorney in order to determine exactly what your rights are under state law.
What Can I Do About Pregnancy Discrimination?
If you believe you were unlawfully terminated or otherwise treated unfairly because of your pregnancy, you should consult with an experienced Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyer for formal legal advice.
For a claim to succeed, you must prove that you were treated differently than others similarly situated because of your pregnancy.
- Keep a record of workplace abuses or discrimination, including emails, memos, and other documents showing you are a victim of discrimination.
- Find out if coworkers you trust have been abused in the same way. There may be a joint case between you if this is the case.
- Report the incident to the appropriate authorities.
- If you have filed a complaint, keep track of any retaliatory actions against you.
Consult with Our Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys in California
If you think you’ve been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date the alleged unlawful practice occurred. If you are a government employee, that time is shorter. You will also need to obtain a right-to-sue letter from the Department of Fair Housing and Employment. The deadline for filing this letter is one year from the date the discrimination took place.
With limited time to take action, do not hesitate to reach out to Hershey Law, an employment law firm with years of experience. Our pregnancy discrimination lawyers have handled hundreds of similar cases over the years. We know how to best build your case and navigate the court system so that you receive everything you deserve.
Contact us online or call us today at (310) 929-2190 to get help filing a pregnancy discrimination claim.