I’m sorry to hear that you were fired. Pregnancy can be a stressful time for some women, and when you combine that with the loss of a job the situation can be even more difficult. However, you may have some legal options that can help.
Under both federal and state law, women have certain legal rights because of pregnancy. The federal law that gives pregnant women protections is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the California law is the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Those laws provide that an employer cannot harass a female employee on the basis of pregnancy. In addition, an employer cannot refuse to hire, demote, or fire a woman because she is, or is planning to become, pregnant. Some employers are afraid to employ pregnant women, worrying that they may need large amounts of time off for doctors’ appointments and maternity leave. They may also fear that the woman may quit after the baby is born.
Women are also required to be offered maternity leave. The rules vary between federal and state law and depend on the size of the employer. During maternity leave, employers are required to continue employment benefits, such as health insurance. Once the employee returns to work, the employee must return to the original job or to an equivalent job.
If you believe that you have been fired because of your pregnancy, time is limited in which to file a claim. You should speak with an attorney immediately. Call me, Los Angeles employment law attorney Conal Doyle at 310-385-0567. I can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case.