Federal and state laws protect pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace. Unfortunately, not all employers recognize these protections. Managers and top level executives may either intentionally or unintentionally discriminate against pregnant women in the workplace by failing to promote them, providing less pay than male and non-pregnant counterparts, or wrongfully terminating employment.
While it may seem as though these legal protections are easy to understand, they can be difficult to enforce – especially if you are trying to do so on your own.
At Limonjyan Law Group, we work with employees throughout California, helping them assert their rights to fair and equal employment. Our team provides compassionate and aggressive representation, and we will not stop until our clients get what they deserve.
If you are pregnant, or were pregnant, and believe that you have been discriminated against at work, Limonjayan Law Group is here to help. Schedule a free consultation with our team today to discuss your case.
What is Workplace Pregnancy Discrimination?
Workplace pregnancy discrimination occurs when an expectant or new mother is mistreated, terminated, or harassed due to her pregnancy or breastfeeding conditions. This type of discrimination takes a variety of forms, including:
- Declining a pregnant employee’s request for a temporal accommodation
- Demoting or firing a pregnant employee
- Treating pregnant women differently than other employees with temporal disabilities
- Denying a similar job to an employee when she returns from maternity or other pregnant-related leave
Fortunately, there are state and federal laws that help protect the rights of working mothers and pregnant employees, such as:
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The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
The PDA law prohibits all forms of pregnancy-related discrimination, including pay, promotion, hiring, firing, and temporal accommodations. It also forbids policies that prevent or limit employees from performing tasks simply because they are pregnant. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act further demands that employers treat employees affected by pregnancy-related medical complications the same as other individuals not affected but with similar inability to work.
The PDA act is a revision of Title II of the Civil Rights act of 1964, covering the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1978). Essentially, workplace discrimination based on childbirth or pregnancy-related conditions translates to sex discrimination in Title VII.
If you have faced workplace discrimination due to pregnancy, you may be able to seek compensation from your employer. The first step to doing so is hiring an experienced pregnancy discrimination attorney. When you hire an employment law attorney from Limonjyan Law Group, you can rest assured that your case will get the attention it needs.
Working Mothers’ Rights under the FMLA
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides crucial information about the fundamental rights of pregnant employees. Under this act or the California Family Rights Act – CFRA, you are entitled to a maternity leave. What’s more? The California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, or PDLL, also offers up to 4-months’ leave to working mothers incapacitated by pregnancy. An employer who denies pregnancy leaves violates your rights and can be held accountable for their actions.
The FMLA also outlines your return to work rights, including the right to retain the equivalent job position, not being harassed due to your pregnancy, and lastly, the right to return to an adjusted part-time work schedule.
In addition, you should be allowed to work while pregnant as long as you can perform your duties before you seek maternity leave. This means that your employer shouldn’t discriminate against you because of the pregnancy, force you to take reduced pay, or delay you from taking maternity leave. If you experience these discriminatory acts at your workplace, you need to consult with an experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyer for legal advice.
What Should You Do if Your Employer Terminates Your Job Wrongfully?
If you believe you were fired or did not get a promotion because of your pregnancy, you can file a discrimination lawsuit. However, remember that the law does not give pregnant mothers exclusive rights, but rather forbids employers from treating these workers unfairly.
To win a pregnancy discrimination case, you should provide substantial evidence proving your unjust treatment. Some of the ways to prove pregnancy discrimination include:
- Providing direct evidence of discrimination – You have direct evidence if your employer admits to having fired you on pregnancy discriminatory grounds.
- Circumstantial evidence – Even though your employer denies that your pregnancy didn’t play any role in their decision, you can still have significant evidence to let the judge infer discrimination. To build a strong case with circumstantial evidence, you must prove beyond reasonable doubt that discrimination was indeed behind the employer’s decision.
Circumstantial evidence entails proving that the employer acted with questionable intentions, changed their behavior, or deviated from their standard policies and practices. Lack of proper explanation for dubious management decisions or the changes made after your pregnancy may also serve as circumstantial evidence for discrimination.
As a leading pregnancy discrimination firm, we at Limonjyan Law Group can help evaluate your case to establish your available options.
How Limonjyan Law Group Can Help You Get Fair Compensation
Navigating the laws and processes of pregnancy discrimination cases can be challenging. That is why you need to partner with a law firm with the proper knowledge and experience to make the process more seamless. At Limonjyan Law Group, we have extensive knowledge in workplace pregnancy discrimination matters.
We pride ourselves in our ability to fight for the rights of pregnant employees across Los Angeles and beyond. Regardless of the issue at hand, our committed attorneys can assess your case to provide advice and guidance to ensure you receive the compensation that your family deserves.
Are You Facing Pregnancy Discrimination at Work? We Can Help
If you experience unfair treatment at work due to your pregnancy conditions, we at Limonjyan Law Group are ready to help. Please contact us online or call us to schedule a free consultation.
Pregnancy Discrimination FAQ
If you feel you’ve been discriminated against at work due to pregnancy, the first step you need to take is to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). To file a claim with the DFEH, you need to contact the headquarter to schedule an appointment. Additionally, you’ll need to fill out and submit an intake form. The form shows that you have agreed to take an interview with a representative at a district office. The representative determines whether your claim can be allowed for an investigation.
After you have done this, you can begin filing a pregnancy discrimination claim against your employer. Depending on the action taken by these agencies, you can settle the claim with your employer directly or proceed in filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately, in some cases, your claims might be dismissed.
While you might want to settle these proceedings on your own, it’s better to reach out to a pregnancy discrimination attorney to ensure that your case isn’t dismissed and your employment rights aren’t taken away.
What Happens if I Have Restrictions Due to My Pregnancy?
You are entitled to reasonable accommodations if you have restrictions caused by your pregnancy. Accommodations are modifications or changes to the work environment to enable you to perform your job. Some of the accommodations your employer should offer include:
- Making duties at the workplace less strenuous
- Temporary shift to a less demanding task
- More frequent or prolonged breaks
- Permission to use a chair or stool at the workplace
Other things like Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) or additional leave following your initial PDL will depend on the severity of your pregnancy-related symptoms and needs.
What Medical Conditions are Covered Under PDL?
Some of the medical conditions covered under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Act include:
- Gestational Diabetes
- Postpartum Depression
- Childbirth Recovery
- Severe Morning Sickness
- Prenatal Care
- Pregnancy-related Hypertension
- Loss of Pregnancy
Do I Have to Take All of My PDL at One Time?
You don’t have to take your disability leave all at once. Instead, you can take it intermittently throughout the pregnancy or post-pregnancy months. This could mean taking a few hours off work daily or taking a few weeks or days off at a time. This can be essential for mothers who experience intermittent or temporary conditions that hinder their ability to perform their daily job tasks.
Will I Continue Making My Salary During PDL?
Unfortunately, that answer isn’t always straightforward. Your ability to continue making your salary during PDL depends on several factors. If other employees in the organization get paid during their leaves, you are entitled to receive your payment. You will receive compensation if you use your paid time off during the pregnancy disability leave.
You can also qualify for paid leave through local ordinances or state laws. Employees who pay for State Disability Insurance (SDI) can receive partial wage replacement.
Contact Us Today
If you’re being discriminated against at work due to your pregnancy or postpartum recovery, you need a skilled attorney to get you the compensation you deserve. At Limonjyan Law Group, we have the experience and resources to fight for your employment rights. Call us today at (213) 277-7444 or visit our website to schedule a consultation.