The Pregnancy Discrimination Laws in California make it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Under the California Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA) as well as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), it is unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant or to fire a woman because she became pregnant.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination falls under the category of sex discrimination, which occurs when employers discriminate against pregnant people 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 the victim of mistreatment from your employer and were unlawfully terminated only because of your pregnancy, then you should immediately seek legal assistance from a professional and file a case against your employer.
Informing your employer of your pregnancy, asking about their leave policy, and requesting time off are all protected activities under the law. If you are retaliated against for any of these reasons, then you may have a claim for pregnancy discrimination.
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 employment attorney, as they would be able to give you the right guidance required to move forward with the situation at hand.
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 of 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 children.
- The Family Medical Leave Act: This federal law allows parents to take off from work and spend time with their children.
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 a victim of 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.
You Have a Right to File a Lawsuit in California
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 the investigation or after your request is granted.
You Have a Right to a Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney
If you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, you may be entitled to damages including lost wages and benefits, civil penalties, and attorneys’ fees. The first step in protecting your rights is to contact a qualified employment attorney who can evaluate your case and help you determine the best course of action.
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.
We encourage you to reach out to the California employment attorneys at Eldessouky Law. Our skilled legal team has experience handling a wide variety of pregnancy discrimination cases and will fight to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (714) 409-8991 or fill out one of our short contact forms for a free consultation.