Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Law Firm: Contact Us For A Free Consultation
California’s Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA) makes it illegal to refuse to hire, refuse to select a person for a training program leading to employment, or to fire/terminate a person from employment or from a training program leading to employment, or to discriminate against a person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or demote them, because a person is pregnant. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is the federal counterpart and also protects pregnancy discrimination. The California Constitution also protects employees from pregnancy discrimination.
The laws to protect a pregnant employee apply so that an employer cannot target an employee who they believe may become pregnant, who is pregnant, or just had a baby. They deserve to be hired and to keep their employment and be promoted regardless of their sex and potential for pregnancy or actual pregnancy.
An Employer Must Provide A “Reasonable Accommodation”
Like with disabilities, an employer must provide a “reasonable accommodation” and engage in the interactive process to determine if and/or what accommodation is appropriate. It can be a violation for a company not to engage in this discussion with the pregnant employee and to fail to provide a reasonable accommodation. What is “reasonable” often depends on the facts. It may mean providing a chair to a pregnant employee who needs to sit,a different type of chair for a pregnant employee, longer breaks, or a larger number of short breaks, a reduction in tasks, restrictions on tasks, like the amount of weight an employee may lift, closer access to a restroom, and so on. One of the most common types of accommodation is time-off while an employee is pregnant or after the employee has the baby, as discussed below.
A woman may take maternity leave before the birth of their child, as well as after the birth. Pregnant women may be entitled to a certain amount of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) if they apply. This grants 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn. Fathers also have the right to take the same amount of unpaid leave time to care for a new baby. There are requirements before this law applies. For example, the FMLA applies to people who have been employed for at least 12 months, worked over 1250 hours during the last 12 months, and work at a location where there are 50 or more employees with a radius of 75 miles. Even if this leave does not apply because the requirements are not met, there are protections under the FEHA to provide leave. There are also protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination
- Refusing to hire a women because she says she may get pregnant in the future
- Terminating an employee for being pregnant or announcing they are trying to get pregnant
- Terminating or punishing an employee because they took pregnancy leave
- Refusing to promote an employee because they took leave, or will take pregnancy leave
- Refusing to give an employee the pregnancy leave entitled under the law
- Making improper comments about female employees getting pregnant
Retaliation and Harassment
Not only is it illegal to discriminate against an employee because of pregnancy, but it is also illegal to harass someone as a result of their pregnancy. Moreover, it is also illegal to retaliate against an employee who complains about such discrimination and/or harassment.
Potentially Recoverable Damages
There are a variety of remedies for victims of pregnancy discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, which include but are not limited to:
- Back pay (lost wages)
- Front Pay (money for lost future earnings)
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Injunctive relief
- Emotional distress damages
- Punitive damages
- Attorneys’ fees and costs
Call A Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Employment Lawyer at Wagner Legal Group, P.C. For A Free Consultation
If you think that you have been discriminated against, harassed, or were terminated because of your pregnancy, or retaliated against for complaints of illegal pregnancy discrimination, contact the Wagner Legal Group for a free consultation or call (310) 857-5293.