Can I Be Denied A Job Because I'm Pregnant? | Mann & Elias
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Can I Be Denied A Job Because I’m Pregnant?


Since it is common for women in today’s workforce to continue working almost until the time they are due to give birth, most people assume pregnancy discrimination no longer exists. While in a perfect world this would be true, ours is not a perfect world. As such, many companies discriminate against female job applicants who are pregnant. Though considered an illegal practice under federal law, employers do so since this can be one of the hardest types of discrimination to prove inside a courtroom. If you were turned down for a job for which you were well-qualified, consult with an employment attorney in Los Angeles to see if your situation qualifies as pregnancy discrimination.

Pregnancy Discrimination at Work

When you have been discriminated against at work due to your pregnancy, this can take several forms. When you are turned down for a job, an employer may simply say there were other candidates who were just as or better qualified than yourself, which may or may not be true. While you can press the employer a bit more to explain their reasons for the decision, they are not obligated legally to do so. However, if you feel as if the employer turned you down only because you were pregnant, talk to a pregnancy discrimination lawyer Los Angeles women have turned to in the past regarding similar cases.

Keeping the Pregnancy a Secret

Since pregnancy discrimination continues to be a problem for women in today’s workplace, some experts recommend that women who are pregnant when applying for jobs keep their pregnancies a secret during the application and interview process if at all possible. While applicants certainly are entitled to do so if they choose, there can be repercussions later on. For example, should they be hired and then the pregnancy becomes obvious, an employer may take retaliatory action against the employee, such as reducing their hours or suddenly finding a reason to fire them or lay them off indefinitely. However, whether or not you kept your pregnancy a secret, an employer has no legal right to use your pregnancy against you. Should this happen, seek advice from an experienced discrimination attorney in the workplace.

Stereotypes and Bias

Even though federal law bans employers from discrimination based on pregnancy, many companies continue to rely on stereotypes and bias when making hiring decisions in this area. In many situations, employers believe women who are pregnant on the job will not be able to perform their jobs at satisfactory levels, or will be sick and miss large amounts of time during their pregnancy. Yet no matter what an employer may believe, they are not allowed to deny jobs to well-qualified women simply on the basis of being pregnant. It may be time to talk over your concerns with a Los Angeles labor attorney who specializes in pregnancy discrimination cases.

Filing a Charge of Discrimination

If you feel strongly you were denied a job due only to your being pregnant, you may decide the time has come to file a charge of discrimination against the employer. To do so, you will contact either your state’s anti-discrimination agency or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, most often called the EEOC. Should you be considering filing a lawsuit, you will be required to first contact the EEOC and attempt to have the matter settled through an agency investigation. In some cases, the EEOC will take your case and attempt to reach a settlement with the employer, although this does not happen on a regular basis. Also, unless you have overwhelming evidence to support your claims, the EEOC may not find in your favor. However, whether or not the EEOC is on your side, you can still hire an LA pregnancy discrimination lawyer working women rely on to protect their rights in these matters.

The Demand Letter

If you want to bypass the EEOC, you can instead hire an attorney for pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and have them send the employer in question a demand letter. This letter, which will state the facts regarding your claim, will give the employer a chance to settle the matter with you in a fair and reasonable manner. If you choose to do this, be prepared for a long and arduous fight that could take up time you could spend continuing your job search. Along with this, the employer may also attempt to discredit your professional or even personal reputation, which could further complicate matters.

Correcting Its Error

Since federal employment laws can be very complex, situations do sometimes arise where an employer may not have been fully aware of how these laws apply to applicants or employees who are pregnant. Thus, you may be able to contact an employer and have them correct their mistake before the situation finds its way into a courtroom. However, don’t count on this. Since a company may be able to point to various details as to why you did not get the job, trying to handle this on your own rarely works in your favor. Thus, should you believe pregnancy discrimination occurred, it is always best to turn the matter over to an employee rights attorney in Los Angeles who understands the law and knows the proper legal steps to take with such matters.

If a company has been using pregnancy discrimination tactics for many years, those in charge of hiring will be quite adept at making sure their true motives are never discovered. Therefore, even if you believe you know discrimination took place, remember that knowing it and proving it are two different things. Rather than wonder if it’s legal to fire get fired while pregnant and have an excellent career opportunity be taken from you simply because you are about to become a mother, consult at once with a discrimination lawyer Los Angeles clients trust from the law firm of Mann Elias.


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