California Pregnancy Employee Discrimination Attorney

Pregnancy brings a lot of joy, some anxiety, and several drastic physical changes. If you are pregnant, you have enough to worry about and do not need the added pressure of facing discrimination at your job. Unfortunately, despite protections provided by California and federal law, employers continue to discriminate against pregnant workers.

Pregnancy discrimination comes in many different forms. If you believe you have been the victim of unfair or discriminatory practices because you are pregnant, contact our experienced California pregnancy employee discrimination attorneys. The lawyers and staff at the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, are dedicated to fighting against all types of discrimination in the workplace. Call (805) 643-5555 to schedule a free consultation to review your situation.

Signs That You Are Experiencing Pregnancy Discrimination at Work California

Discrimination is often difficult to spot – many times, people are unaware they are victims of pregnancy discrimination. A potential employer is usually not going to come out and say they did not hire you because you were pregnant. Likewise, if you are suddenly fired, your boss will not tell you it was because you were expecting a child.

Another common form of pregnancy discrimination occurs when an expectant mother requests maternity leave. If it is denied, or your salary is decreased, you could be a victim of pregnancy discrimination. Because of the challenges involved in a discrimination case, you should bring your concerns to our California attorney as soon as possible so we can begin investigating your claim.

Are California Employers Required to Accomodate Pregnant Employees?

Pregnancy puts your body through some drastic physical changes. Because of this, there may be some work duties you are unable to perform. For instance, depending on your condition, you might not be able to lift heavy boxes or sit for an extended period.

Some other common medical conditions related to pregnancy include hypertension, gestational diabetes, morning sickness, and post-partum depression. Each one of these conditions has medical consequences that could affect your ability to do some aspect of your job. However, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employers to provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations to accomplish their work duties. For example, a pregnant employee should be afforded regular breaks to rest, time to go to doctor’s appointments, and have the physical nature of their job modified. Some other accommodations that could be made include telecommuting or changing your hours, modifying your job duties, and providing more comfortable furniture.

Obtaining workplace accommodations is a proactive process. In some cases, you might need a note from your doctor detailing what you can and cannot do. California expects employers and employees to work together to establish what changes are necessary. However, the burden remains with your employer. If your employer is refusing or not offering you these reasonable accommodations, their conduct could constitute discrimination under California law.

Pregnancy-Related Medical Leave of Absence and Maternity Leave Laws in California

California employers must allow their pregnant employees to take leaves of absence if necessary. This includes prohibiting companies from firing someone because they requested a leave. Additionally, you are entitled to a leave of absence without having to use all your vacation or sick time first. If other employees are allowed to take extended leaves without pay, pregnant employees should be granted the same opportunity.

In addition to California law, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act further protects pregnant workers. You must be allowed to return to work after your pregnancy or maternity leave.

California Retaliation Laws in Pregnancy Discrimination Cases

Despite the legal requirement to provide accommodations for pregnancy employees, some employers refuse to comply. In some cases, an employer will retaliate against a pregnant worker who requested an accommodation. Under California and federal law, this type of conduct is strictly prohibited. You have every right to expect reasonable accommodations and to express a complaint if you believe you are a victim of discrimination. If you are worried about talking with your human resources department or a supervisor, contact our California discrimination attorney.

Steps to Take if You Are a Victim of Pregnancy Discrimination in a California Workplace

If you believe you are the victim of pregnancy discrimination, there are some things you should do. First, it is essential to document everything that you consider discriminatory behavior. You should keep detailed records of what was done, said, the time, date, and any other employees or managers who might have witnessed it. If there are any emails or other communications, it is crucial to keep copies of them. A discrimination case often is won or lost on the evidence provided.

If you are comfortable doing so, you should make a formal complaint with your human resources department. This will allow your employer an opportunity to address your concerns as well as provide additional evidence that you were experiencing a problem. If there is no immediate supervisor or human resources manager, contact our Ventura employment discrimination lawyer about your pregnancy discrimination lawsuit in California.

The next step is to file a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Our office will help you with filing your claim. Once the claim is filed, and the chosen agency reviewed it, a “right to sue” letter could be issued. This document allows you to move forward with a discrimination lawsuit in the California court system.

Call Our California Pregnancy Employee Discrimination Attorney for a Free Consultation

California provides its residents with some of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country. Employers are prohibited against discriminating against their pregnant workers. Nonetheless, discrimination still occurs. If you were treated unfairly and illegally, contact our California employee discrimination attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC aggressively combats all types of discrimination in the workplace. Call (805) 643-5555 to schedule a free appointment to review your legal rights.

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