If you are pregnant, are recovering from a pregnancy-related illness, or recovering from childbirth and are facing discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to damages from your employer. To get more information about your legal protections under federal and state laws, you should speak with a Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorney as soon as possible. The experienced team at Aegis Law Firm can help you understand your rights and pursue a claim for pregnancy discrimination.
If you are looking for experienced and trial-tested Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyers to help you fight your case, call Aegis Law Firm today at (949) 379-6250. Your initial consultation with a Los Angeles employment lawyer is free, and we have Spanish-speaking services available.
An attorney can play a crucial role in assisting with a pregnancy discrimination claim in the following ways:
An attorney will evaluate the facts of your case to determine the strength of your pregnancy discrimination claim. They will review relevant documents, such as communications with your employer, policies, and any other evidence you have of discriminatory actions.
They can provide guidance on your rights, legal options, and explain the applicable anti-discrimination laws that apply to your case. They will advise you on the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.
Investigation and Evidence
An attorney can assist you in gathering and preserving evidence that supports your claim. This may include documenting instances of discrimination, securing witness statements, and obtaining relevant company policies.
Filing Administrative Charges
In many cases, filing administrative charges with California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a prerequisite to pursuing a lawsuit. An attorney will guide you through this process, ensuring that your complaint meets the necessary requirements.
Negotiation with Employer
Before pursuing legal action, an attorney may engage in negotiations with your employer on your behalf. They can present your case, outline the discriminatory actions, and seek a resolution that may include compensation, reinstatement, and/or changes in workplace policies.
Representation in Mediation
If mediation is suggested by the CRD or EEOC, your attorney can represent you during the mediation process, working to achieve a mutually agreeable resolution with your employer.
Filing a Lawsuit
If negotiations and administrative remedies are unsuccessful, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf. They will prepare the necessary legal documents, present your case in court, and advocate for your rights.
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can manifest in various forms, ranging from overt actions to more subtle biases. Here are some examples:
Pregnancy discrimination is expressly prohibited by federal and state laws. Employers should take proactive steps to prevent it and create an inclusive workplace environment.
California state and federal laws prohibit the employment discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or any pregnancy-related medical condition. For some women, pregnancy can be a difficult time, which may require some accommodation in the workplace.
The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on pregnancy. It covers any actions concerning:
Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers with five or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against their workers based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related illnesses. FEHA requires employees to make reasonable accommodations to enable a pregnant worker to perform their duties.
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for workers who need time to attend to their health or bond with a new child. Also, employers must provide workers disabled by pregnancy or childbirth with unpaid, job-protected leave known as the Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) or make reasonable accommodations for them to work. The CFRA also applies to employers with five or more employees.
Under California law, an employer with five or more employees is required to make reasonable accommodations for their pregnant workers to perform their essential duties. Failure to make reasonable accommodation could result in liability for pregnancy discrimination.
When an employer knows of a pregnant worker’s pregnancy or pregnancy-related illness, they have a duty to make reasonable accommodations, which can include:
The New Parent Leave Act in California
The New Parent Leave Act’s provisions have been added to CFRA, which allows eligible employees in companies with 20 to 49 employees within a 75-mile radius to take a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the purpose of caring for and bonding with a new child. This law is applicable to both maternity leave for mothers and paternity leave for fathers within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. However, employees are only eligible for this unpaid time off if they have worked for the covered employer for at least one year and worked 1,250 hours or more within the last 12 months.
Requesting maternity leave in California involves a few key steps to ensure a smooth process and compliance with applicable laws.
Review Employer Policies
Check your employer’s policies regarding maternity leave. Some companies may have additional benefits or guidelines beyond what is required by law.
Notify Your Employer
Submit a written request for maternity leave to your employer. Include details such as the anticipated start date of your leave, the expected duration, and any specific arrangements you’ve made to cover your responsibilities during your absence.
Provide Medical Certification if Required
Your employer may request medical certification from your healthcare provider. This is often required for PDL.
Coordinate with Paid Family Leave (PFL)
Consider coordinating your maternity leave with California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, which provides partial wage replacement benefits during your time off. You can apply for PFL benefits through the Employment Development Department (EDD).
Stay in Communication
Maintain open communication with your employer during your maternity leave. Notify them of any changes in your plans or return date, if applicable.
Explore Flexible Work Arrangements
Discuss with your employer the possibility of flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or a part-time schedule, upon your return, if feasible and agreed upon.
If you suspect pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, taking proactive steps can help address the issue and protect your rights.
Keep detailed records of any incidents or behaviors that you believe constitute pregnancy discrimination. Include dates, times, locations, individuals involved, and a description of what occurred.
Review Company Policies
Check your employer’s policies on discrimination, harassment, and family leave.
Talk to Your Supervisor or HR
If you feel comfortable doing so, discuss your concerns with your supervisor or the human resources (HR) department. Share specific instances of perceived discrimination and inquire about the company’s policies and procedures for addressing such issues.
Submit a Formal Complaint
If informal discussions do not resolve the issue, consider submitting a formal complaint following your company’s grievance procedure. Ensure that your complaint is in writing, providing details of the discriminatory behavior and any steps you’ve taken to address the matter.
Seek Legal Advice
Consult a trusted Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer to discuss your situation and understand your legal rights. They can provide guidance on the best course of action, potential legal claims, and the steps to take to protect your interests.
File an External Complaint
If internal avenues do not bring resolution, you may file a complaint with the CRD or EEOC which handle discrimination complaints.
Explore Alternative Solutions
Your attorney can help you negotiate or arrange mediation with your employer to seek a collaborative solution without going to court.
File a Lawsuit
Once you receive your right to sue from the CRD or EEOC, you may choose to pursue a lawsuit if your issue has not been resolved. Your attorney can handle every aspect of your case and ensure you receive a favorable outcome.
If you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy or pregnancy-related illness, you may be able to recover damages for back pay, lost benefits, or pain and suffering. If you have suffered adverse work actions such as firing, demotion, denied access to training or advancement in your workplace because of your pregnancy, contact our passionate Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyers for your free initial consultation. Call Aegis Law Firm today at (949) 379-6250.