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Santa Clarita Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
Employment Discrimination in Los Angeles, Valencia, & Santa Clarita
Pregnancy discrimination against an employee by an employer is illegal. Federal law and many state laws prohibit discrimination against employees because of pregnancy, childbirth, or medically related conditions. Federal law applies to companies employing more than 15 employees. California law applies to companies employing 5 or more employees.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Discrimination based on pregnancy by an employer may manifest in many ways. An employer may refuse to hire a pregnant applicant, may demote or discharge a pregnant employee, may deny an employee returning from a pregnancy-related leave the same job she had prior to leaving or a similar one, or may treat a pregnant employee differently than other employees that are temporarily disabled.
Pregnancy Discrimination in California
Employers are obligated to give pregnant employees the same rights and benefits that they give to other temporarily-disabled employees. In California, pregnant employees are entitled to receive any reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, or medically-related matters that are requested with the medical advice of a doctor. They also have the right to be transferred to a less strenuous or dangerous job with medical certification by a doctor and if the employer can accommodate that request.
How Pregnancy Discrimination Can Happen
Pregnancy discrimination can take various forms, including:
- Layoffs. Pregnant employees may be targeted for layoffs or termination due to their pregnancies.
- Denied promotions. Pregnant employees or those planning to become pregnant may be passed over for promotions in favor of non-pregnant employees.
- Prejudiced treatment. Pregnant employees may experience a hostile work environment, including derogatory comments or unfair treatment due to their pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
- Denied accommodations. Employers may refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, such as light duty or modified work schedules.
- Refusal to lighten workloads. A pregnant employee can legally ask their employer to make reasonable accommodations, such as reducing their workload, if needed. However, employers should not simply reduce an employee’s workload because of a pregnancy.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace remains a prevalent issue across various industries and demographics. Some examples of pregnancy discrimination cases include:
- Walmart (retail industry) lawsuit. In 2017, a former Walmart employee filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that she was fired due to her pregnancy. According to the suit, Hoover (the plaintiff) claimed she was let go after missing work because of a recent hospitalization. The lawsuit also alleged that Walmart denied her request for lighter duties during her pregnancy. This suit was not the only pregnancy discrimination suit against Walmart at the time, as a class action discrimination suit was also filed by over 20,000 Illinois employees concerning pregnancy discrimination.
- Merck & Co. (pharmaceutical industry) lawsuit. In 2018, a former sales representative at Merck & Co. filed a lawsuit, alleging that she was passed over for promotions and eventually laid off due to her pregnancy. The plaintiff argued that the company systematically discriminated against pregnant women and working mothers.
- Google (tech industry) lawsuit). In 2019, a Google employee posted a memo on an internal message board, accusing the company of discriminating against her during her maternity leave. She claimed that her manager made derogatory comments about her pregnancy and retaliated against her when she reported the issue to human resources. She also claimed that she witnessed other employees facing similar discrimination.
- Planned Parenthood (healthcare industry) lawsuit. In 2018, a New York Times investigation revealed that Planned Parenthood had been accused of discriminating against pregnant employees. The report cited numerous instances where employees faced demotions, hostile work environments, or were denied promotions due to their pregnancies. One such example was Ta’Lisa Hairston whose healthcare providers recommended she take frequent breaks because of her high blood pressure. When Hairston told her managers and department about this recommendation and provided notes from her doctor, her notes were ignored.
Federal & State Laws Concerning Pregnancy Disability
The key laws and regulations designed to protect pregnant employees include:
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). This federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The PDA applies to employers with 15 or more employees and covers hiring, firing, promotions, and other terms and conditions of employment.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This federal law provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family and medical reasons, including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.
- California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Under the CFRA, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on their pregnancy or pregnancy-related disability. This includes decisions related to hiring, promotion, termination, and other terms and conditions of employment.
- California Family Rights Act. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is a state law that provides eligible employees with job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons, including pregnancy-related disabilities. The CFRA works in tandem with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL) to provide comprehensive protections for pregnant employees. Under the CFRA, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on their pregnancy or pregnancy-related disability. This includes decisions related to hiring, promotion, termination, and other terms and conditions of employment.
How Our Valencia & Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers Can Help You
If you believe you have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination, it is essential to consult with a skilled attorney who specializes in this area. Here is how our pregnancy discrimination attorneys can help you by:
- Evaluating your case. During your initial consultation, our pregnancy discrimination attorneys will first analyze your situation thoroughly to determine if your employer's actions qualify as discrimination. They will consider factors such as whether you were treated differently from other employees, if your employer made negative comments about your pregnancy, or if there were any adverse employment actions taken against you (e.g., termination, demotion, or denial of promotion).
- Offering counsel concerning your course of action. Once our attorney has evaluated your case, they will recommend the best course of action to take. This may involve filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), pursuing a lawsuit against your employer, or attempting to resolve the issue through mediation or negotiation. We can then guide you through each step, providing expert advice tailored to your specific situation.
- Collecting evidence. To strengthen your claim, our attorney will gather evidence to support your claims of pregnancy discrimination. This may include collecting documents (such as performance evaluations, emails, and internal memos), interviewing witnesses, and obtaining any other relevant information.
- Representing you in legal proceedings. If your case proceeds to litigation, our attorney will represent you in court and advocate for your rights. We will present your case before a judge or jury, arguing that your employer's actions were unlawful under the PDA. Your attorney will also handle all legal filings, motions, and other procedural matters, ensuring that your case is presented effectively and professionally.
- Negotiating a settlement. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to reach a settlement with your employer rather than pursuing a lawsuit. our pregnancy discrimination attorney can negotiate on your behalf, working to secure a fair and just resolution to your case. This may include financial compensation, reinstatement, or other forms of relief.
- Acting as your advocate and protecting your rights. Throughout the entire process, our attorney will work tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly. We will also keep you informed about the progress of your case and help you make informed decisions about how to proceed.
Why Choose Our Valencia & Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers
If you or someone you know has been a victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, you may have legal recourse against the employer responsible. Talking to a Los Angeles & Santa Clarita employment law attorney at Markson Pico LLP may be an essential step necessary to resolve this often stressful and unpleasant situation. Our attorneys have a combined legal experience of over 50 years and are more than capable to undertake your case. We have focused on business and employment law and are well-versed in both federal and state law regarding pregnancy discrimination. At Markson Pico LLP, we are dedicated to protecting your rights under those laws.
Contact our California Discrimination Attorneys
Have you been the target of workplace discrimination because of pregnancy? Contact Markson Pico LLP for legal help navigating California pregnancy discrimination laws.
Contact a Santa Clarita pregnancy discrimination attorney at Markson Pico LLP for a free consultation about your case today! Call 661-434-4333!