There is no greater event in life than the birth of one’s child. New mothers should feel confident that their work will provide them the time needed to take care of their body and new child. Unfortunately, some employers have been known to mistreat pregnant employees or discriminate or retaliate against them.
Thankfully, both federal and California employment laws have been put in place to protect women’s rights against pregnancy discrimination. No woman should ever be concerned about being treated differently when they have placed time and energy into a workplace and deserve to have time to celebrate the coming of their newborn. Over the years, women have overturned societal norms and shown that they are an essential part of the U.S. workforce.
Women have the right to earn a living and advance in their careers, whether married or unmarried, are protected by legislation, regardless of their decision to bear children. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the core legislation in protection of equal rights, was amended in 1978 to include pregnancy and childbirth discrimination as a form of sex discrimination.
Walker Law’s pregnancy discrimination attorneys represent women who have faced pregnancy-related discrimination. Our legal team fights to ensure that all workers, regardless of gender, have the same rights and privileges. Contact our San Diego pregnancy discrimination lawyers for your free consultation today.
Pregnancy discrimination is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as any unfavorable treatment of an employee or applicant because of pregnancy, childbirth, and/or any related medical conditions. Any of the following actions based on an employee’s pregnancy or ability to become pregnant is considered pregnancy discrimination:
Furthermore, a pregnancy discrimination claim could potentially be brought if an employer asks a woman about any of the following topics:
Establishing that pregnancy discrimination occurred can be difficult. Employers are likely to give excuses as to why another candidate was picked over a pregnant woman. However, if a pregnant candidate has the same or stronger qualifications than a hired candidate, an employer will have a difficult time explaining how this is not evidence of discrimination.
Since the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) in 1978, pregnancy harassment has been considered a form of sexual harassment under US federal law. The PDA prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on pregnancy and requires these employers to provide women recovering from pregnancy or childbirth health conditions with the same benefits as they would provide to temporarily disabled employees.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) also reinforces the PDA by allowing employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave with continuation of insurance benefits. Some pregnancy-related impairments, such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, may be considered disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations similar to those made for disabled employees.
Additional protections in California under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) could apply in pregnancy discrimination cases. California law is more extensive than the PDA in that California prohibits pregnancy discrimination by employers with at least five employees. The PDLL also allows for up to 26 weeks of pregnancy disability leave if needed due to pregnancy or a pregnancy-related issue.
When it comes to any employment-related issues, all women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions must be treated the same as all non-pregnant employees. At Walker Law, we’ll ensure that your rights are protected and fought for. Contact our San Diego pregnancy discrimination attorneys today for your free consultation.