What to Know

Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace - California

Pregnancy Discrimination. We represent employees in Los Angeles and everywhere else in California.

If you believe you are being treated unfairly or facing discrimination because of your pregnancy or related condition, contact Los Angeles discrimination attorney Zachary J. Sempers at 888-762-0297.

Consultations are free.

Our office handles discrimination disputes in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California.

What is pregnancy discrimination?

In the workplace, pregnancy discrimination occurs when a pregnant candidate for employment or employee is treated less favorably because they are pregnant or because of pregnancy-related conditions such as breastfeeding. As with other types of discrimination, pregnancy discrimination is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and other state and federal laws and executive orders.

Pregnancy discrimination examples

Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace takes many forms. Some of the most common examples of discrimination based on of an employee’s pregnancy include:

  • Refusing to hire an employee because she is pregnant;
  • Refusing to hire an employee because she is likely to get pregnant;
  • Firing, demoting, or refusing to promote an employee because of her pregnancy or related medical conditions;
  • Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations for a pregnant employee;
  • Denying a pregnant employee time off for childbirth; and
  • Discriminating against a pregnant employee because of breastfeeding or conditions related to breastfeeding.

There are many other examples of pregnancy discrimination. If you are experiencing discrimination based on pregnancy, you need to contact an employment attorney to fight for your rights.

Types of pregnancy discrimination

There are different types of pregnancy discrimination that are considered illegal under federal and California law:

  1. Firing or discriminating against a pregnant employee
  2. Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations
  3. Refusing to hire a job applicant because of pregnancy
  4. Harassing an employee for being pregnant or pregnancy-related conditions
  5. Restricting pregnancy-related medical leave
  6. Discriminating against an employee for pumping breast milk
  7. Encouraging or forcing a pregnant employee to take time off work or quit
  8. Refusing to consider a pregnant employee for a promotion
  9. Demoting a pregnant employee
  10. Retaliating against a pregnant employee for complaining about discrimination

Contact the Sempers Law Firm to discuss your legal options if you believe your employer is treating you unfairly because of your pregnancy.

Pregnancy Discrimination in California - FEHA

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits sex discrimination in Pregnancy, which includes pregnancy or breastfeeding and related medical conditions as well as childbirth. This applies to employers with five or more employees in California.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. It prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of employees or job applicants. The Act applies to essentially all employers with 15 or more employees, while smaller companies are exempted.

Pregnancy discrimination EEOC

Employment laws that are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) make it unlawful for employers to treat employees less favorably because of their pregnancy or medical conditions related to being pregnant.

How to prove pregnancy discrimination in California

When pursuing a pregnancy discrimination claim in California, an employee must prove that they were fired or demoted or were otherwise treated unfavorably by their employer because of their pregnancy. For example, an employer fired a pregnant employee citing "poor performance" when there is no evidence of the alleged poor performance.

Can you sue your employer for pregnancy discrimination?

You may be able to sue your employer for pregnancy discrimination if you have evidence to prove that you were discriminated against because of pregnancy or related medical conditions.

How to sue for pregnancy discrimination

In order to sue your employer for discriminating against you based on pregnancy, you must first file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment or Housing (DFEH) or EEOC to obtain a "right to sue" letter.

You should speak with an attorney to know what to expect in your pregnancy discrimination case before you settle the lawsuit.

For more information

For more information or to discuss your case, call us at 888-762-0297 and ask to speak with an attorney who handles maternity and pregnancy discrimination cases.

We take all cases on contingency and advance all costs - which we only are reimbursed if we successfully recover on your behalf.

Your consultation will be confidential, informative, and free.

We represent clients in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Orange County, and Northern and Southern California.

Last updated on November 2, 2021.

Additional Resources

• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits pregnancy discrimination.

• Related Article: FAQs on Pregnancy and Employment

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