Sacramento Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
In today’s economy, with far more job seekers than jobs, some employers adopt an attitude of “why hire or retain anyone that makes life difficult for me in anyway?” Pregnancy, unfortunately, is one characteristic that some employers would rather not deal with, for a variety of reasons.
Fortunately for female workers, society as a whole has a much different opinion than those employers. In California, several state laws protect pregnant women from pregnancy discrimination in various ways:
- Prohibiting basic discrimination (refusal to hire, promote, retain etc.)
- Granting rights to disability leave for problem pregnancy
- Granting rights to family leave
- Protecting the right to return to employment following those leaves
Federal laws offer many of the same protections, but California’s employment law applies to many more businesses and provides more generous damages and other remedies.
Protection from Pregnancy Discrimination
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex/gender. That protection extends to discrimination based on pregnancy and any medical conditions that relate to pregnancy and/or childbirth). An employer can’t single you out in any way because of your pregnancy: no harassment, termination, demotion, denial of promotions, or other detrimental action.
Pregnancy discrimination cases depend on whether you can build a bridge of evidence connecting the adverse employment decision and the fact of the pregnancy. That’s a very lengthy process of gathering evidence—both testimony and documents—to establish the timeline and major events:
- When the claimant become aware of the pregnancy
- When the employer become aware of it
- When the adverse action occurred
- The reason given (if any) for the adverse action
- Whether the stated reason holds up to ordinary common sense
FEHA offers the full range of damages and other remedies available for other types of discrimination. In addition to getting back your old job, if that’s what you want, the remedies include:
- Lost earnings (commonly called “back pay”)
- Loss of future earnings (“front pay”)
- Emotional distress
- Attorney fees
Right to Disability and Family Leave
California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) requires certain employers to provide leave to any women who are disabled due to pregnancy (or childbirth). The employee has to request the leave, up to four months, and be unable to perform some significant part of her job because of the disability.
The four months provided by the PDLL is in addition to any rights the woman has under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to twelve weeks of family leave. While the PDLL requires actual disability, the CFRA does not, but the CFRA applies to fewer employers than the PDLL.
Help When You’ve Suffered Discrimination Because of a Pregnancy
Pregnancy discrimination cases are complex, time consuming, and crucial to the future of the employee. Without experienced legal advice, it can be difficult to determine even such basic information as whether your employer is covered by FEHA, and what kind of records you’ll need to document the fact that you have been seriously looking for work needed to show that you have been trying to limit the damages caused by the discrimination.
At Labor Law Office, APC in Sacramento, our attorneys have a 20 year track record in representing claimants in employment discrimination cases. We offer a free case evaluation of employees’ rights, even rights you may not know about. If you’ve been treated adversely because you’re pregnant, denied disability or family leave, been shunted to inferior work upon your return, or treated badly in any other way, give us a call today.