If you are a pregnant employee, you don’t have to suffer discrimination in the workplace. You have rights under the law. It is a violation of state and federal laws for your employer to discriminate against you on the basis of pregnancy in any aspect of your employment. If you believe your rights are being violated, the best thing you can do is to contact a pregnancy discrimination lawyer to discuss your case.
What Is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination is illegal. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is unlawful for an employer, on the basis of sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, and breastfeeding), to:
- Refuse to hire a person
- Refuse to select a person for a training program that could lead to employment
- Discharge or bar a person from employment
- Discharge or bar a person from a training program that could lead to employment
- Discriminate against a person in compensation
- Discriminate against a person in the privileges, terms, or conditions of employment
- Print, circulate (or cause to be printed or circulated) any publication, or make any non-job-related inquiry of an employee, expressing any limitation, specification, or discrimination
- Harass an employee or applicant
- Discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee for filing a complaint or otherwise opposing violations of FEHA
Any discriminatory treatment on the basis of your pregnancy that affects the conditions of your employment is unlawful under FEHA and the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Some examples of pregnancy discrimination include:
- Telling a pregnant job applicant to come back after the child is born and she is ready to return to work
- Firing an employee after learning that she is pregnant (because she is pregnant)
- Refusing to allow a pregnant employee to stop lifting heavy objects
- Disciplining a pregnant employee for missing time from work for prenatal appointments (when other employees with medical conditions are not treated in an equal manner)
- Failing to hold a job open for a pregnancy-related leave of absence for the same length of time jobs are held open for other employees with medical conditions or disabilities
How a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer Can Help
If you have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to file a claim for damages against your employer. Compensatory damages you may be entitled to claim could include out-of-pocket expenses, past, present, and future lost wages, and emotional distress suffered as a result of your employer’s unlawful actions. In some cases, juries also award punitive damages, intended to punish the employer for willful wrongdoing.
At Sessions & Kimball LLP, our experienced Orange County pregnancy discrimination attorneys have a history of success representing California employees. Our practice is devoted exclusively to enforcing employee rights. In negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation, we have recovered more than $100 million for our clients.
We offer a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose. Contact us today to find out if you have a pregnancy discrimination case against your employer.