There are California and federal laws in place to prevent employers from discriminating. These laws include disallowing discrimination against women based on pregnancy. These laws protect employees against various types of discrimination. For example, what if an applicant is pregnant when interviewing for a position? Or what if an employee is expectant when interviewing for a promotion?
And what if the company is downsizing and looking to cut some employee jobs to reduce expenses? Pregnant women get protected under various laws. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant women.
This is a form of illegal harassment. In fact, termination, demoting the woman’s position or any other actions are discriminatory. This applies to employers who have five or more full-time employees, or who did during the past year.
Ehline Law Firm has years of experience helping personal injury victims. The commitment of this employment to helping the afflicted and downtrodden. What makes us different is that the millions of dollars we have recovered for people.
Also, this includes helping plentifully bestrewn women treated like dupes. But this is only part of why we are one of the most respected and beloved attorney groups in California. Read more below about your legal rights, duties, and obligations under the law. Once you have read more, call us to discuss your potential new case. Or call toll free right now at (888) 400-9721.
Table of Contents:
Federal Civil Rights and Pregnancy Discrimination.
Employers with fifteen or more employees must adhere to the Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act states employers not to base job decisions on employee protected rights, such as sex. Then in 1978, there was an amendment to Title VII Federal Civil Rights Act. This was when Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Passing this amendment, Congress sent a clear message to employers. Bad actors will become penalized if they discriminate against pregnant women in the workplace.
Pregnancy discrimination can become based on various stages. These are those including pregnancy, childbirth and medical conditions related to pregnancy. Employers are prohibited against discriminating against the employee under any of these circumstances. Also, they cannot harm employees who intend to become pregnant. Employers become barred from asking women if they intend to become pregnant. Hence, they are barred from using it as a reason to not hire, promote or terminating the employee.
It is the employer’s duty to ensure reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. So an example of this is an employee whose job entails body strain like lifting. Here, the employee can request to get moved to a position that would be safer for her condition. Employers who fail in accommodating pregnant employees violate discrimination laws.
The employer must adhere to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). These provisions involve pregnant employees in the state of California. Most of all, they mandate that the woman can have up to 12 weeks of leave following childbirth. So if disabled by pregnancy or medical conditions, she gets four months leave from work.
The FMLA is another protection from employee pregnancy discrimination. Under the CFRA leave for birth of an infant includes one of three elements:
- Whether the employer has 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius.
- The employee worked over 1250 hours in the prior 12 months preceding the first day. And this is date of their leave or pregnancy disability leave.
- The other is whether the employee has been in the service of the California employer for over one year.
California Disability Discrimination Laws
Disabled pregnancies get covered under the California Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”). Any violations of these laws by the employer are illegal. Hence, the employee may have an employee pregnancy discrimination claim against the employer. The four months can be at one time or intermittently.
One important fact with California PDLL laws is when employees suffer short-term disabilities. Here, unlike the Federal Law, the California PDLL laws requires pregnant employee special treatment.
Employers cannot make work decisions based on pregnancy, childbirth or any related conditions. Nor can it include firing an employee because the woman is pregnant. The employer is not allowed to determine when the pregnant employee must take leave. Nor may employers force the employees to stop working at a specific point in the pregnancy. The employee cannot get transferred or demoted upon returning to work after giving birth.
Employers Cannot Assume After Giving Birth the Mother Won’t Want Her Full-Time Job Back.
Also, there are other issues covered under pregnancy discrimination. For one, employers who move the employee to part time during their pregnancy cannot assume. Employers must continue as if the woman will continuing to work full time. After all, she may come back full time after the birth of the child.
Employers are not permitted to demote the woman’s position either. So just because it may require business travel, the company is stuck. So employers cannot assume the new mother will not want to be away from the infant.
Even when intentions are thoughtful, it is still discrimination when the employee did not request a job change or full time to part time.
California PDLL requires employers to accommodate pregnant employees at work reasonably. So employers should voluntarily consider granting an extended leave of absence from work.
The PDA requires employers to provide pregnant employees with the job accommodations. Here they must be the same as those provided for temporarily disabled employees. Also, other types of health conditions get covered. So for instance, an employee on light duty or part time after having surgery has rights. Employers not providing the same allowance are in violation of regulations they must follow.
So pregnant employees must get light duty or part time work treatment. If not, the employer is acting illegally. Also, there are some California state laws requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations. And this also means to all pregnant employees. And this is even if their condition is not considered a disability.
Leave from Work.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), requires employers to provide pregnant employees with time off from work. But first off, it is for enumerated conditions. They must be pregnancy-related. And this includes related medical conditions, childbirth and bonding time with the infant.
This Act covers employers with at least 50 employees. And they must permit pregnant employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Ostensibly this is for medical and caretaking issues. But the vacation time may get used for other pregnancy reasons. So it can cover severe morning sickness or medically prescribed bed rest. It also covers bonding with the infant.
California and some other states require employers to provide unpaid leave. But usually, this is for certain pregnancy disability. Here, when the pregnant employee is physically unable to work time off is awarded. So if it is due to the pregnancy and impending childbirth employers beware. Smaller employers may have laws applicable to provide additional leave time from work. And the pregnant employee will seek this under the FMLA.
If an employee is a victim of pregnancy discrimination or harassed, people call us. When faced with this dilemma, a California pregnancy discrimination attorney can be of assistance. This experienced lawyer can advise the mother-to-be what her employee rights are. The lawyer can discuss the state and federal laws. When employers violate of pregnancy discrimination laws, a reputable and seasoned attorney can assist. Their job is recovering pregnancy discrimination damages.
Laws may also entitle the pregnant employee to punitive damages. In Southern California, the Ehline Law Firm attorneys have experience. They are pros in handling pregnancy discrimination claims. And they have done so against both large and small companies on behalf of the expectant mother. If you feel your employee’s rights got violated call us now at (213) 596-9642.