Pregnancy Discrimination

California law provides important protections for employees and job applicants who are either pregnant or are new mothers.

If you are pregnant, have a pregnancy-related medical condition, or are recovering from childbirth, you are protected by California and federal anti-discrimination laws.

California law protects employees against discrimination or harassment because of an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or any related medical condition.  California law also prohibits employers from denying or interfering with an employee’s pregnancy-related employment rights.

HAS YOUR EMPLOYER TREATED YOU LESS FAVORABLY THAN OTHERS BECAUSE OF YOUR PREGNANCY?

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employee or job applicant receives less favorable treatment because they are pregnant or may someday become pregnant.  To establish a claim for pregnancy discrimination, an employee must prove that:

  • the employer is covered by the pregnancy discrimination laws (in California, this usually means that at least five employees work for the employer);
  • the employee either worked for the employer or that the employee applied  to work for the employer;
  • the employer discharged or refused to hire or took some other adverse action against the employee or the employee had to leave because the circumstances were so unbearable;
  • the pregnancy was a substantial motivating reason for the adverse action
  • the employee suffered some type of harm from the employer’s action.

To establish a case of pregnancy discrimination, an employee must show that her employer knew she was pregnant and evidence of pregnancy-discriminatory motive on her employer’s part. 

Which type of workers are covered by pregnancy discrimination laws in California?

  • Traditional full-time employees
  • Part time employees
  • Temporary employees (“temps”)
  • Job applicants
  • Unpaid interns

What should you do if you believe you have a pregnancy discrimination claim?

If you think you might have a claim for workplace discrimination based on pregnancy, then you need to speak to a lawyer.  Victims of pregnancy discrimination under California law can be eligible for backpay, punitive damages, and compensation for emotional pain and suffering.

However, every case is different, and it is important that you speak to an experienced employment lawyer so that you can discuss the options that are available to you.  Claims for pregnancy discrimination must be brought within a very narrow time window, so the longer you wait, the less likely that you will be able to prevail on your claim. The lawyers at our office regularly handle pregnancy discrimination cases across the entire state of California.  Reach out now for a free confidential consultation and to learn more about cases brought on behalf of victims of pregnancy discrimination.