Pregnancy Discrimination

Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers

Rights and Legal Recourse in Pregnancy Discrimination Cases

Discrimination is an unfortunate reality many face within the professional sphere. Pregnancy discrimination is a particularly sensitive form of bias—an issue at the heart of gender equality and workers' rights. For both employees and employers, understanding pregnancy discrimination is not merely important—it's essential.

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical condition. Federal and California state laws mandate that employees be shielded from unjust and unlawful employment practices. Employers are also legally required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related needs and allow disability leave when necessary.

Despite the existence of these protective laws, instances of pregnancy discrimination persist. If an employee’s rights are violated, they can fight back. They can file a complaint or even a lawsuit against their employer, seeking justice and asserting their lawful rights. But navigating the complexities of employment law is daunting, which is why having reliable legal guidance is crucial.

That's where Stephan Filip and our dedicated Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorneys come in. We are well-versed in state and federal employment laws and are fierce advocates and compassionate legal guides. We believe that providing personalized attention to each of our clients is the key to effective representation. Our approach is about being legally savvy and understanding and empathizing with each client's unique circumstances and challenges.

Schedule a free consultation by calling us at (323) 433-6715 or contacting us online.

What Constitutes Pregnancy Discrimination?

Pregnancy discrimination is a particularly poignant subset of employment discrimination that involves unfair treatment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Both federal and California state laws explicitly define and prohibit such discriminatory practices.

Under federal law, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee or job applicant based on current, past, or potential future pregnancy. Additionally, this extends to unfair treatment related to pregnancy-related medical conditions, breastfeeding or lactating, or even using birth control.

California law mirrors federal law in many ways but expands on these protections. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) states that it is a violation of a worker's rights if they are treated less favorably because of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition. It also explicitly forbids harassment because of pregnancy.

Discriminatory actions can take many forms. Here are a few examples:

  • Mistreatment or harassment because of pregnancy: This can range from offensive comments or jokes about a person's pregnancy to overt acts such as excluding them from opportunities, marginalizing them, or creating a hostile work environment.
  • Adverse employment action: If an employer takes adverse employment action, such as demotion, dismissal, reduction in hours or pay, or denial of promotion, based on an unsupported pregnancy-related reason, this constitutes discrimination.
  • Retaliation: If an employee reports unlawful practices, such as discrimination or harassment based on pregnancy, it's illegal for employers to retaliate. Retaliation can include unjustified negative performance reviews, increased scrutiny, or any other adverse employment actions taken as a response to the employee's report.

Understanding these definitions and examples is crucial to recognize pregnancy discrimination when it occurs. The law is clear: no employee should face unjust treatment because of pregnancy or related conditions. If these rights are violated, legal action can and should be taken to rectify the situation. A pregnancy discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles can help.

Other Laws Related to Pregnancy Discrimination

When it comes to pregnancy and the workplace, knowing your rights is fundamental. Numerous laws are in place to shield you from discrimination and help you balance the demands of work and family.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

One such vital piece of legislation is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which fortified the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The PDA directly tackles bias by declaring it illegal for employers to discriminate based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This law ensures that employers can't maintain policies, whether on paper or simply understood, that deprive pregnant individuals of employment opportunities or benefits.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

For added protection, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act demands that employers provide reasonable accommodations to workers experiencing limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, or associated conditions. Such accommodations could include more frequent breaks, a stool to sit on, or a temporary transfer to a less strenuous job.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Moreover, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), pregnant workers with impairments that qualify as disabilities are also entitled to reasonable accommodations to perform their job duties effectively.

Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for health conditions, including pregnancy-related ones. In addition, California's Pregnancy Disability Leave Law gives expecting mothers up to four months of unpaid leave for disabilities related to their pregnancy.

California Family Rights Act

After the birth of a child, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, safeguarding their position during this time for bonding with their new child.

California Fair Employment and Housing Act

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers with five or more employees from discriminating or harassing workers due to pregnancy.

How to Respond to Pregnancy Discrimination

Confronting the unfortunate reality of pregnancy discrimination can feel overwhelming. But don't let fear or uncertainty keep you from asserting your rights.

Here's a roadmap of what you can do if you suspect you're being unfairly targeted due to your pregnancy:

  • Documentation: Create a record of the discriminatory acts. This could include documenting incidents, saving emails, or noting discriminatory comments. This record will serve as evidence if you decide to take formal action.
  • File a complaint: The next move is lodging a complaint with a relevant agency. In California, this could be the California Civil Rights Department. At the national level, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These organizations exist to ensure workplaces are free from discrimination, and they are prepared to investigate claims like yours.
  • File a lawsuit: If filing a complaint doesn’t resolve the situation, it might be time to escalate the matter. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, you first need a right-to-sue notice. Once you receive this, you can officially file your lawsuit against your employer.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Dealing with pregnancy discrimination is far from easy. It's not just about the emotional stress but also the intricate laws and procedural hurdles. That's why having legal representation is crucial.

Engaging a legal professional brings many benefits. An attorney can evaluate your case, assess its strength, and help you understand a practical course of action. They can also investigate your situation, gathering evidence to support your claim. Should the need arise, they can guide you through filing a claim and, if necessary, pursuing a lawsuit.

At Stephan Filip, we have experience advocating for employees across the public and private sectors. We understand that every client's situation is unique, so we tailor our strategy to each one’s needs.

Our Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorneys aren't just looking to resolve a case. We're committed to pursuing justice, whether negotiating a fair settlement or passionately advocating in court.

We seek to restore peace of mind and reaffirm employees’ faith in the workplace, showing that pregnancy discrimination has no place in our society.

Discuss your case with our team by contacting us at (323) 433-6715.

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