Pregnancy Discrimination Laws California

Have you recently been victim to pregnancy discrimination in California? Is your employer treating you unfairly due to pregnancy and child birth related medical complications?

We invite you to contact our Orange County pregnancy discrimination attorneys for a case consultation. Our California discrimination attorneys can provide you with quality legal advice and guidance regarding your particular situation.

We have successfully helped residents of Irvine, Newport Beach, and Santa Ana, California file lawsuits against their employers, colleges, and public agencies that have subjected them to pregnancy discrimination. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Pregnancy Discrimination Overview

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when a woman is treated unfairly as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Such discrimination often occurs in the workplace and it occurs in many forms:

  1. The refusal to hire a pregnant job applicant.
  2. Firing a promoting a woman because she is pregnant.
  3. Harassing a woman because she is pregnant.
  4. Treating a pregnant woman differently than other temporarily disabled employees.

It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against any employee or job applicant because she is pregnant. In addition to workplace related discrimination, women may also face pregnancy discrimination while attending college (example – private and public colleges receiving federal funds that discriminate against pregnant students – discrimination subject to Title IX).

California Pregnancy Discrimination Laws

Fortunately, there are several laws in California that protect women from pregnancy discrimination such as the following:

  1. California State Fair Employment and Housing Act

The State of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from discriminating against any employee for becoming pregnant or requesting to take leave associated with the pregnancy. Such provisions apply under the FEHA if the employer has employed more than 5 full time employees over the prior year.

It is an unlawful employment practice, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification, or, except where based upon applicable security regulations established by the United States or the State of California:

(a) For an employer, because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status of any person, to refuse to hire or employ the person or to refuse to select the person for a training program leading to employment, or to bar or to discharge the person from employment or from a training program leading to employment, or to discriminate against the person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

  1. California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law

Additionally, the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) requires employers to provide up to four months of leave for employees “disabled” by pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions. Under the PDLL, pregnancy leave must be provided even if the employer’s governing policies do not permit short-term disability leave.

  1. California Family Rights Act

Under California’s Family Rights Act, which is the state version of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, after the birth of a child, a mother is entitled to take 12 weeks of leave from work.

In addition to California State laws, there are federal laws that prohibit pregnancy discrimination. For example, under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, if a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to her pregnancy or childbirth, then her employer is required to treat her in the same manner as it would any other temporarily disabled employee.

To amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 701 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

“(k) The terms ‘because of sex’ or ‘on the basis of sex’ include, but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, and nothing in section 703(h) of this title shall be interpreted to permit otherwise.

How to File a Pregnancy Discrimination Complaint Against Your Employer

If you believe you have been discriminated at work due to your pregnancy, you can file a charge against your employer with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC will investigate the claim and render a determination. It is best to obtain legal guidance and counseling prior to filing a complaint with EEOC.

You can also file a complaint with FEHA if you have been discriminated against as a result of your pregnancy.

Prior to filing your complaint, or meeting with a pregnancy discrimination attorney, we recommend you take appropriate steps to protect yourself. For instance, you should maintain a detailed log of all acts of discrimination that occur against you and record any witness’s information. File your complaint with the appropriate federal or California State agency within the designated amount of time and name all responsible defendants.

Contact Our Orange County EMployment Law Office

We invite you to contact our law office to discuss the strength of your pregnancy discrimination case in more detail and review your possible legal options.

Our law firm provides pregnancy discrimination legal representation to residents of Orange County, Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Irvine, California.