Pregnancy should be a time of anticipation and joy, not a cause for workplace discrimination or undue stress. Unfortunately, many expectant mothers face unfair treatment, bias, or even job loss simply due to their pregnancy.

PLBH, a leading Southern California employment law firm, is committed to advocating for the rights of pregnant employees. This blog aims to enlighten you about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and how to assert your rights effectively. Contact us at (800) 435-7542 for a legal consultation.

Understanding Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a job applicant or an employee unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

Forms of Pregnancy Discrimination

  • Refusal to hire due to pregnancy
  • Demotion or job reassignment because of pregnancy
  • Denial of pregnancy-related leave or reasonable accommodations
  • Forced leave or termination due to pregnancy

Recognizing these forms of discrimination is the first step in fighting back and protecting your rights.

Legal Protections Against Pregnancy Discrimination

Several laws at both the federal and state levels provide protections for pregnant employees, ensuring they are treated fairly and without prejudice.

Federal Laws

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth and care of a newborn child.

California State Laws

  • The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) offers broader protections than federal law, including prohibiting harassment based on pregnancy and requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations.
  • The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) mirrors the FMLA but includes additional protections under California law.

Your Rights as a Pregnant Employee

Understanding your rights is crucial in advocating for yourself in the workplace.

Right to Reasonable Accommodation

  • Modifications to your job duties or work environment to accommodate pregnancy or related conditions, unless it causes undue hardship to the employer.

Right to Pregnancy Disability Leave

  • Up to four months of job-protected leave for a pregnancy-related disability, with the possibility of additional leave under the FMLA/CFRA.

Right to Be Free from Harassment

  • A work environment free from harassment due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Right to Return to Work

  • The right to return to your original job or a comparable position after your leave, with the same pay, benefits, and terms of employment.

Actions to Take if You Face Pregnancy Discrimination

Document the Discrimination

  • Keep a detailed record of instances of discrimination, including dates, times, witnesses, and any communications from your employer.

Report Internally

  • Utilize your employer’s complaint process to report discrimination. This may involve speaking to your supervisor, human resources, or both.

Seek Legal Advice

  • Consult with an experienced employment law attorney to understand your rights and explore your legal options. PLBH offers expert legal consultation and representation to navigate these issues effectively.

File a Complaint

  • File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) as necessary.

Why Choose PLBH?

Pregnancy discrimination is not only unjust but illegal. If you believe you have been subjected to such discrimination, it’s crucial to know your rights and take action. PLBH is here to help you navigate the complexities of employment law and fight for the fair treatment you deserve. Contact us at (800) 435-7542 for a consultation to discuss your case and how we can assist you in standing up against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.