Can I File a Lawsuit for an Unjust Termination Due to My Pregnancy?
After finding out that you were pregnant, you thought that informing your employer about it was the professional thing to do. However, contrary to your expectations, if your employer terminates you from your position in response, you can file a lawsuit against them for unfair treatment due to your pregnancy.
If you’re still confused if you’ve got a case on your hands or not after you were fired from the job because of your pregnancy, consult an experienced attorney, as they would be able to give you the right guidance required to move forward with the situation at hand.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination falls under the category of sex 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 you were also the 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.
Laws Prohibiting Pregnancy Discrimination
There are several laws that protect pregnant employees from being mistreated in their work environment, some of which are listed below.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: This federal law provides protection for employees based on various characteristics, including on the basis of gender. As pregnancy discrimination is categorized as sex discrimination, discrimination and termination due to pregnancy is protected by this law.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978: This federal law openly protects women from sex discrimination due to pregnancy, childbirth, and all other health conditions related to pregnancy.
- Fair Employment and Housing Act: This California based state law protects employees from gender-based discrimination, including pregnancy, along with other personal characteristics.
- The Pregnancy Disability Leave Act: This state law in California grants pregnant employees to avail pregnancy disability leave for any kind of medical condition related to pregnancy, which would result in them being unable to perform the task without risking themselves, their pregnancy, or others.
- The California Family Rights Act: This state law in California allows parents to take time off work and spend it with their child.
- The Family Medical Leave Act: This federal law allows parents to take off from work and spend time with their child.
If any of the above mentioned laws were violated in your case, you can take legal action against your employer with the help of a law firm.
Options Available For You after Pregnancy Discrimination
If you were subject to mistreatment from your employer because of your pregnancy, you have the right to pursue a claim. Every employment claim goes through a state or federal agency. The employee who was victim to any discrimination can claim to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) on the state level. They also have the option to claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on the federal level.
These departments will investigate your case and take measures against your employer if required. Besides these employment agencies, you also have other options available through which you can take action.
Right to File a Lawsuit
You also have the option to claim a civil lawsuit against your employer, but you must first be allowed the right to sue by these agencies. The right would be given after the agencies have concluded investigation or after your request is granted.
Right for Compensation
You also have a right to be compensated for your claim. The type of compensation would be based on the case-specific details. You might be eligible to receive compensation for pay cuts, lost benefits, emotional or mental suffering, punitive damages, and even reinstatement in some cases.
If there is ever any confusion regarding what is legal interaction and what may qualify as discrimination, contact our Wrongful Termination attorney at Eldessouky Law in South California today at (714) 793-0594 to understand your rights, and hold your employer accountable if they are in violation of state or federal laws.