In the professional world, expectant mothers may face uncertainty and questions regarding their employment rights in California. In this context, understanding the clear stipulations of California and federal law is paramount. The Los Angeles discrimination lawyers at Moore Ruddell LLP are committed to offering guidance in these areas, ensuring all employees are aware of and can affirm their rights.
California’s Pregnancy Discrimination Laws
In California, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on pregnancy status. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) bar employers from terminating, demoting, or discriminating against women for reasons related to pregnancy, childbirth, or associated medical conditions.
Employees have the right to request reasonable accommodation for any pregnancy-related condition, and employers must respond to such requests promptly and fairly. This protection is in place to affirm that women do not have to make a choice between their professional growth and their health or the health of their unborn children.
Pregnancy-related harassment refers to unwelcome and offensive conduct directed at a pregnant employee or a new mother. This harassment can take various forms including offensive comments, jokes, slurs, or visual displays related to sexual activity, pregnancy or childbirth. It may also involve unwarranted attention, ridicule, or insult based on the individual’s pregnancy status, which can create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive working environment.
Forms of Pregnancy-Related Harassment
Verbal Harassment: This includes offensive remarks about a person’s pregnancy, pregnancy-related jokes that are unwelcome, or degrading comments about an individual’s appearance during pregnancy.
Exclusion or Isolation: Pregnant employees may be intentionally excluded from professional opportunities, meetings, or workplace social events due to their pregnancy status.
Discriminatory Policies or Practices: Employers might enforce policies that unfairly impact pregnant employees, such as unreasonable scheduling, denial of reasonable accommodations, or unequal application of leave policies.
Retaliation: Employers might retaliate against employees for asserting their rights as pregnant employees, including filing complaints about discrimination or requesting reasonable accommodations.
Steps to Take If Facing Pregnancy Discrimination
If you perceive a violation of your rights as a pregnant employee, timely action is important. Maintain detailed records of any incidents, including dates, times, and names of individuals involved. Consultation with a knowledgeable employment law attorney to discuss your situation and examine your legal options is advisable.
Request a Free Consultation
Moore Ruddell LLP offers free consultations for employees who feel they have faced discrimination due to their pregnancy. Our dedicated attorneys have over two decades of experience in high-stakes litigation matters, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to providing dynamic counsel and representation to our clients, focusing on achieving individual goals and protecting interests. Contact us today.