It’s illegal under both federal and state law to discriminate against a woman in the workplace because of her pregnancy. Under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, women are provided with certain legal protections during their pregnancies.
By law, an employer cannot refuse to hire or demote or fire a woman because she is currently pregnant or is planning to become pregnant. Some common examples of pregnancy discrimination include refusing to hire women of childbearing age out of fear they may become pregnant and quit their jobs, refusing to hire women because they are pregnant, firing a woman for bogus reasons after she becomes pregnant, or passing a woman over for a promotion because she is pregnant or may become pregnant.
In addition, most working women are entitled to maternity leave. If you are eligible under federal and state laws, employers must offer you 12 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Women may choose to replace those unpaid weeks with paid leave that they have accrued, such as sick leave or vacation leave. Women must continue to receive employment benefits, such as health insurance, although they must pay the premiums. Once a pregnant woman returns to work, she must be restored to her original job or an equivalent job.
It can in some cases be difficult to prove that you were discriminated against because you were pregnant. Employers frequently make up a bogus excuse for why they chose to take certain actions against pregnant employees. If you believe you were wrongfully fired because you are or were pregnant, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles employment discrimination attorney at 310-385-0567. I will provide you with a free consultation on your case. Call to learn more.