Pregnancy Discrimination Claims in Los Angeles, CA
In California, several laws protect job applicants and employees against pregnancy-based discrimination. This includes laws existing at the state and federal levels. If you believe that you have experienced adverse employment-related action based on your pregnancy or been denied leave related to your pregnancy or have been subjected to pregnancy-related harassment, you should speak with a Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorney about your legal rights.
Understanding the Laws that Protect Pregnant Job Applicants and Employees in California
Pregnancy is a protected characteristic under state and federal anti-discrimination laws. This means that employers are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants and employees based on their pregnancy status in all aspects of employment.
From denial of job opportunities and termination of employment to harassment in the workplace, pregnancy discrimination can take many different forms. Pregnancy discrimination can also involve denying leave to pregnant employees and employees who have recently given birth—and there are specific laws that apply in these scenarios as well. When you contact Attorneys for Employees, a Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorney will thoroughly assess your legal rights under:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Title VII prohibits pregnancy discrimination as a form of sex-based employment discrimination. As the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains, covered employers are prohibited from taking adverse employment action based on an employee’s: (i) current, past or potential pregnancy; (ii) medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth (including lactation and breastfeeding); (iii) decision to have or not have an abortion; and, (iv) decision to use or not use birth control.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – The ADA protects job applicants and employees who have disabilities related to their pregnancies. As the EEOC notes, “[w]hile pregnancy itself is not a disability under the ADA, some pregnant workers may have one or more impairments related to their pregnancy that qualify as a ‘disability.’” Employers are prohibited from engaging in disability-related discrimination, and they must provide reasonable accommodations to workers who have pregnancy-related disabilities.
- California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – FEHA is California’s main anti-discrimination law. It prohibits most forms of discrimination, including pregnancy-based discrimination, by companies with five or more employees. Generally speaking, the protections afforded under FEHA are similar to those afforded under Title VII and the ADA, and they apply to all aspects of the employment relationship.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – The FMLA entitles eligible employees to take job-protected leave for various reasons, including reasons related to pregnancy and childbirth. If you have been improperly denied FMLA leave while other non-pregnant employees have been granted leave, or if you have been denied reinstatement after taking leave, you may have a claim for pregnancy-related discrimination.
- California Family Rights Act (CFRA) – The CFRA is similar to the FMLA. But, whereas the FMLA only applies to employers with 50 or more employees, the CFRA applies to employers in Los Angeles with just five employees or more. If you believe that you have been improperly denied leave or reinstatement under the CFRA related to your pregnancy, you should consult with a Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorney about the options you have available.
- California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) Law – California’s PDL law also entitles pregnant employees to job-protected leave. This includes not only extended leave during and after pregnancy but time off for medical appointments as well. The PDL law also entitles pregnant employees to reduced work hours when necessary. While most employers are familiar with the FMLA and CFRA, many are less familiar with the PDL law, and this results in violations in many cases.
When Can You File a Claim for Pregnancy Discrimination in Los Angeles?
Even though laws like Title VII and FEHA provide broad protections for job applicants and employees, it isn’t always easy to know if you have a claim for pregnancy-based discrimination. While some cases of discrimination may be fairly obvious (i.e., if an interviewer says the company won’t hire you because you are pregnant), many cases are far more subtle.
But, no matter how overt or subtle pregnancy discrimination may be, it has the same consequences—and it is subject to the same prohibitions under California and federal law. As a result, if you have experienced any of the following, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with a Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorney at Attorneys for Employees:
- You were denied a job because you were pregnant or recently gave birth;
- You were denied a promotion or other job opportunity with your current employer;
- You were denied FMLA, CFRA or PDL leave during or after your pregnancy;
- You experienced harassment at work related to your pregnancy;
- You were denied a reasonable accommodation for your pregnancy-related disability;
- You got fired because you were pregnant or considering pregnancy or because you recently gave birth; and
- You experienced any other disparate treatment or adverse employment action related to your pregnancy status.
There are dozens of possible permutations within each of these categories. Pregnancy discrimination can involve company policies and procedures that are discriminatory in their purpose or effect, decisions by individual managers and supervisors, or misconduct by coworkers or others. If you believe you may be a victim, the key is to consult with an attorney about your situation. An experienced Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorney will be able to thoroughly assess your legal rights, help you make informed decisions, and take legal action if warranted.
When taking legal action for pregnancy discrimination, there are a variety of potential remedies available. These include various forms of financial compensation as well as job placement or reinstatement. Our attorneys can help you decide which remedies to pursue, and we can use our experience to fight for a settlement or judgment on your behalf.
Talk to a Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney in Confidence
For more information about your legal rights as a victim of pregnancy discrimination in Los Angeles, contact Attorneys for Employees. Let us know how we can reach you online to speak with an experienced attorney in confidence.