Pregnant employees and job applicants are protected by California state and federal law both in the hiring process and while on the job. If you have been discriminated against on the basis of your pregnancy – either overtly or through covert means – in applying for a job, being terminated or demoted at your job, seeking reasonable accomodations at your work, or in seeking medical leave, you may be able to bring a successful pregnancy discrimination law claim for financial recovery and other forms of relief, including being restored to your job.
The employment discrimination legal team at LawPLA champions the rights of pregnant employees and job applicants in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, and we are here to listen to your situation, help you assess your legal options, and, if we believe you have a strong case, aggressively fight for your legal interests in your pregnancy discrimination claim.
Employers May Not Discriminate Pregnant Workers
A California employer may not discriminate against workers and applicants on the basis of pregnancy. This is true in the hiring process as well as on the job, meaning you cannot be demoted, suspended, terminated, or subject to other adverse employment decisions on the basis of your pregnancy.
Examples of potential pregnancy discrimination for which you can bring a valid legal claim in California include:
- Being asked questions about your pregnancy status in the hiring process, leading to not being hired
- Being demoted or given lower pay due to your pregnancy status
- Not being given the right to receive reasonable accommodations to do your job or similar tasks at work
- Being fired or laid off as a result of your pregnancy, whether or not this is explicitly stated to you
The Right of Pregnant Workers to Medical Leave
As is the case with all workers at covered employers, pregnant workers have the right to medical leave under both California law and the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). California law specifically states pregnant workers have the right to take up to four months of unpaid medical leave for the following conditions related to pregnancy:
- Postnatal child care
- Prenatal care
- Postpartum depression
- Morning sickness
- Pregnancy-related complications
The four months do not have to all be taken at once. You also have the right to insurance coverage by your employer during this period, as well as the right to seek a comparable position and/or job tasks upon your return to your work.
Disability Law and Pregnancy Discrimination
While a pregnancy may affect your ability to do some types of tasks on the job, your employer is required by federal disability law to make reasonable accommodations for you to continue working on the job. Such reasonable accommodations might include:
- Providing you with different tasks
- Providing you with special equipment to do your job, i.e. a special chair or desk
- Providing you with a different schedule
Failure to provide you with a reasonable accommodation could lead to an employment law claim for financial recovery.
Your Rights Against Harassment
Additionally, pregnant workers have a right to be free from harassment based on their pregnancy status and/or gender. If you are subject to repeated harassing statements or other types of conducts based on your pregnancy status, you may be able to bring a claim based on a hostile work environment.
Contact a Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney Today
If you suspect that you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, work with the employment law team at LawPLA who can help you assess your situation and understand what legal options are available to you. Contact LawPLA today to schedule a consultation to discuss your potential pregnancy discrimination law claim.