Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnant workers have rights under both federal and California pregnancy discrimination laws. Under these laws, employers are prohibited from the discrimination of a woman based on their pregnancy, childbirth, or any other related medical conditions.

For example, California has a strong public policy of “ensur[ing] that pregnant women do not lose their jobs.” California Federal S. & L. Assn. v. Guerra (1987) 479 U.S. 272, 289-290. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) specifically prohibits an employer from discharging a pregnant employee or discriminating against her in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.  See Cal. Govt. Code §§ 12926, 12940, and 12945.

Furthermore, under Government Code section 12945, an employer must provide reasonable accommodation, including medical leave, to a woman disabled by her pregnancy. The duty to accommodate is an affirmative duty and arises even where the employee has not requested any accommodation.  Prillman v. United Airlines, Inc. (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 935, 949-950. 

Your Right To Be Free From Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace

You may have experienced pregnancy discrimination if these situations are applicable to your specific situation:

  • You were not hired as a result of your pregnancy.
  • You were terminated because you were or are currently pregnant.
  • You were demoted due to your pregnancy.
  • You were denied promotions as a result of your pregnancy.
  • You were denied maternity leave.
  • You were denied training during your pregnancy.
  • You were denied reasonable accommodations as a result of your pregnancy-related disability.
  • You were harassed and verbally abused as a result of your pregnancy.
  • When you returned from maternity leave, you were unable to return to any position of employment.

You may also have the right to maternity leave. In general, maternity leave is mandated by law. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (also known as FMLA), certain employers must offer employees a minimum of 12 weeks unpaid leave for a variety of qualified and medical family reasons. Among these reasons is taking care of a newborn or a child that has just been adopted.

In California, employees are offered additional leave under the California Family Rights Act so that they can bond with their newborn, adopted child, or care for a child with a serious medical condition.

Experienced Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers in California

The attorneys at Hunter Pyle Law have spent their careers helping workers, including women who have been fired, denied employment, and denied reasonable accommodations on account of their pregnancy. Our firm also represents women who have fought against retaliation for asserting their legal rights under anti-discrimination laws. Contact us today to see how we can help you.