How To Recognize Signs Of Pregnancy Discrimination In California
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is more common than most people think. This form of discrimination occurs when a woman — either an employee or job applicant — is treated unfavorably because of:
- Breastfeeding or another pregnancy-related medical condition
A woman may be a victim of pregnancy discrimination when an employer takes an adverse employment action, such as firing or refusing to hire, against her while she is pregnant, is planning to become pregnant, or recently gave birth.
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy or a related medical condition, speak with a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer to explore your legal options.
What Are California’s Pregnancy Discrimination Laws?
California has several laws that govern and prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related conditions in the workplace. Specifically, California has four Acts (at either the state of federal level) designed to protect employees and job applicants from discrimination based on past, current, or potential pregnancy:
- California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from firing, harassing, demoting, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating against women on the basis of pregnancy or related conditions.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for pregnancy disability, to care for a child, and for certain other health and caregiver reasons.
- California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for their serious medical condition, their loved one’s medical conditions, or to bond with a new child.
- Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDLA) allows employees to take leave before and after birth when they are physically unable to perform their duties due to pregnancy or a related medical condition.
Employers are also legally required to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees. If you believe that your employer has violated your rights and can be sued for pregnancy discrimination, consult with a lawyer.
Watch Out for These Signs of Pregnancy Discrimination
In most cases, pregnancy discrimination is very subtle, which is why many pregnant employees and job applicants are unable to spot this form of discrimination right away. However, you should watch out for the following signs of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace:
- A prospective employer refused to hire you after you told them about your pregnancy (or the fact that you are pregnant was obvious) during a job interview
- Your employer fired or demoted you after your pregnancy announcement
- Your employer terminated your employment before you had a chance to request an unpaid, job-protected leave related to your pregnancy or a related condition
- Your employer lowered your pay because of your pregnancy or childbirth
- Your employer refused to promote you due to your pregnancy
- Your employer denied other benefits
- Your employer denied adequate accommodations for your pregnancy-related disability
If you have noticed any of these or other signs of pregnancy discrimination, it is in your best interests to talk to a skilled attorney. Our pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Obagi Law Group, P.C., are prepared to help you. Call 424-284-2401 to receive a case evaluation.