Expectant mothers have more to worry about than possible job discrimination. Unfortunately, because prejudices against pregnant applicants and employees still exist in today’s workplaces, many expectant mothers are fired or treated poorly. It is important to remember that pregnancy discrimination is illegal. If you have experienced unfair treatment at work due to your pregnancy, you should speak to a Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyer to learn about your legal options.
At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, we represent women in the Los Angeles area who have been discriminated against at work based on pregnancy. Our team firmly believes that every employee deserves to be treated with respect and fairness, regardless of their unique traits. Because our lead attorney has been representing California employees for over 20 years, he can quickly identify discriminatory behavior and build a strategic case to win you compensation.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your rights and possible claim against an employer for pregnancy discrimination. Call 213-975-0003. Se habla español.
Both state and federal laws prevent the discrimination of expectant mothers in California workplaces. These laws are known as the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act and California’s Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA). Both pieces of legislation make it illegal for employers to discriminate against expectant mothers and new mothers, or create a hostile work environment for an employee who becomes pregnant.
If a pregnant employee does face discrimination, whether they’re demoted, fired, or treated poorly, these laws give them the right to file a legal claim against their employer. With a successful pregnancy discrimination claim, the victimized employee may be able to recover damages and hold their employer accountable. Victims can earn compensation for any suffering they endured or costs they incurred as a result of the discrimination against them.
A pregnant employee should be allowed to work as long as she can safely perform her job’s duties. Similarly, a pregnant applicant should not be denied a position based on pregnancy, unless she is unable to perform the essential functions of the job. It’s crucial to be aware of discriminatory behaviors directed against expectant mothers if you or a coworker becomes pregnant. By quickly identifying mistreatment, you can prevent further escalation and take action against discriminatory employers.
Common scenarios that qualify as pregnancy discrimination in California include:
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) require California employers to grant expectant mothers pregnancy leave. Through the FMLA, new mothers can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for and bond with their children. However, not all employers are required to provide FMLA leave.
Luckily, the CFRA gives more extensive rights to a wider range of employees in California. This legislation requires any employer with more than five employees to provide new mothers with Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) for up to 16 weeks. PDL is a form of unpaid, job-protected leave. This means your employer must reinstate your job or give you a job of the same status when you come back.
If your employer is required to follow FMLA or CFRA guidelines and refuses to, this is a violation of your employment rights. Your employer cannot deny you PDL or FMLA leave if you are eligible. They also cannot force you to take leave if you can still perform your job’s duties. If your employer refuses to reinstate your job after you took leave or if they refuse to grant you leave initially, do not wait to seek legal aid from an employment lawyer.
Because both state and federal employment laws may be broken in a pregnancy discrimination case, your claim can become complex quickly. This can be especially hard to manage if you’re pregnant or just recently gave birth, which is why working with an employment lawyer can be incredibly useful.
Employment lawyers focus on advocating for employees whose rights have been violated. They can help employees better understand the mistreatment they’ve endured, why it’s illegal, and how to build a case that represents their story. At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, we’ve seen countless expectant and new mothers face unjust treatment. Our firm is prepared to evaluate your case and help you pursue justice.
A: Generally, there are two types of damages employees can receive if they win their pregnancy discrimination case. One form is known as compensatory damages, which are funds used to cover the impact discrimination had on the victim. Compensatory damages often cover medical expenses, loss of income, and more. The other form of damages is known as punitive damages, which are designed to punish an employer for their harmful behavior.
A: To prove that you were discriminated against due to your pregnancy, you’ll have to collect a wide range of information that demonstrates this behavior occurred. This includes records of prior reports, evidence showing adverse treatment, records showing demotion or termination, and more. While proving that you were discriminated against may seem challenging, an employment lawyer can make it much easier. Talk to our team to learn more about filing effective claims.
A: The statute of limitations to file a pregnancy discrimination claim in Los Angeles, California is now three years. This gives plaintiffs three years from the date that they last experienced discriminatory behavior based on their pregnancy. It’s imperative that you file your pregnancy discrimination claim in a timely manner. If you miss the deadline, your claim will lose its validity, and you will not be able to hold your employer accountable.
A: If an employer has more than five employees, they must adhere to the guidelines set in the CFRA. This means that almost every employer in California is required to grant expectant mothers pregnancy leave. If your employer is required to follow CFRA guidelines and refuses to provide you with Pregnancy Disability Leave, this is a form of pregnancy discrimination and can result in legal consequences.
A: Many elements are taken into consideration when determining the damages awarded in a pregnancy discrimination case, such as whether the employee lost income, if they suffered emotional distress, or if their career was harmed. If your case is successful, you’ll most likely receive compensatory damages if you lost any money or suffered due to discrimination. If your employer’s behavior was considered particularly egregious, you may also receive punitive damages.
If you are a victim of harassment or discrimination at work based on pregnancy, please contact our pregnancy discrimination lawyers online or call 213-975-0003. We respond promptly to all email inquiries.
We serve clients in Southern California, including Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Orange County and the surrounding areas.