The Right to Sue for Pregnancy Discrimination | Mann & Elias
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The Right to Sue for Pregnancy Discrimination


The way we experience life day-to-day has drastically changed, especially if you’re a parent or soon-to-be parent. If you have a child at home, or are preparing for one along the way, there is a lot on your mind. Having a baby should not negatively impact your career as many claims happen when individuals decide on that next step. California law protects women from pregnancy discrimination by dictating to employers how your job should be protected. Our employment attorney in Los Angeles can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Pregnancy discrimination is not unheard of, especially as companies are starting to downsize and may be considering various alternatives to working norms. Discrimination of this nature is usually when a woman is treated unfairly due to pregnancy, whether it is before or after giving birth to the child or a related medical condition. As of last year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported 2,753 receipts of pregnancy discrimination cases across the country. With that being said, 313 settlements were reached by the end of 2019. Allegations like this can be categorized under various types of additional discrimination clauses, as mentioned in the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

To eliminate stress, The Law Offices of Mann and Elias might be a great fit for consultation and walking you through processes if you need an employment attorney in Los Angeles. We specialize in defending and representing clients with an array of claims, including employment. Our attorneys can help you determine liability, file the appropriate charges, fill paperwork, and make sure to meet key deadlines.

What Do You Need to Know?

Whether you are being discriminated against, or your company is facing a serious lawsuit, it is imperative to understand this law. The law protecting pregnant women from discrimination are complex and nuanced. If pregnancy complications or health concerns are making it challenging to do your job, the employer is liable if they treat you unfairly, especially compared to employees that identify as temporarily disabled. An example of temporary disability is taking leave or suffering from a broken limb or heart attack.

The last thing you should have to question is if you can get fired for being pregnant in Los Angeles. Depending on your job, if the employer is able to provide disabled persons with alternative working situations, temporary leave whether paid or unpaid, or a shift in work hours, you qualify for similar treatment. Every day, many of us are adjusting and readjusting to a world that will be post-COVID. Providing for your family will certainly look different. As a result, there is a broader focus on health concerns. During pregnancy, common complications are iron deficiency anemia and gestational diabetes. With a pandemic looming over us, additional stressors from coronavirus are high fever, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems, and more.

How Does the Government Rule Pregnancy Discrimination?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) intends to prevent and reprimand companies for discriminating against the pregnant community within all aspects of workplace and employment processes. That involves the following: hiring, onboarding, firing, state of pay, promotions, layoff, benefits, health insurance and additional aspects of employment. The government rules it unlawful for any employer or company to engage in biased actions that mistreat a person on pregnancy or recent childbirth. It looks different for everyone, but common examples of unlawful behaviors include:

  1. Refusing to hire based on pregnancy or desirability to get pregnant
  2. Negative impact in compensation and benefits
  3. Refusal to provide temporary disability under specific circumstances
  4. When an employer shows unfavorability to a woman that needs to pump or breastfeed
  5. Firing or demoting a woman based on post-pregnancy medical or related conditions 
  6. Inability to give time off to deliver the baby or tend to health

Additionally, if you’re pregnant in California the employer is obligated to:

  1. Accommodate to your medical needs for pregnancy, childbirth 
  2. Modify your workspace and work environment (ex. More frequent breaks if needed)
  3. If you work a position that can be potentially harmful, the employer should move you to a less strenuous temporary position (if available)
  4. Pregnancy disability leave (PDL) without jeopardization, that allows you to return to your same job when the determined time is up
  5. Ability to take additional breaks after the child is born for pumping or handling pump-related instances as required in the Labor Code

Getting Started with The Process

If you feel that your employer is discriminating against you because you are pregnant, you have the right to file a charge against them. To do so, you must report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) first, to issue a right to sue letter. The letter confirms that you can legally move forward and file a lawsuit. Prior to getting issued one, the EEOC requires you to take part in an extensive process, which you will need an employment attorney in Los Angeles. 

Based on when the incident happened, you have a standard 180 days to file a claim with the EEOC. Any violation of the federal law requires a specific legal filing to ensure a straightforward process. Once submitted, the EEOC determines how you and your legal representation can proceed. The pregnancy discrimination claim can be applied to lawsuits under the following: Title VII, Age of Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

There are several immediate steps where an attorney for consultation and legal advice is required. Once you register with the commission, you can access your report through their portal. We recommend checking periodically, as deadlines matter in this legal procedure. The public portal is available to you for updating contact information, providing status of representation from an attorney, and uploading important documents in support of your charge. With this being said, the EEOC acts quickly. Within 10 days of the filing date, the employer is then notified. You may be asked to take part in a mediation program that the commission offers to reach a reasonable settlement. It may be suggested to find a pregnancy discrimination attorney for the workplace, however, seeking counsel outside is best for this reason.

Right to Sue Letter Prompts You to Act Fact

There are timestamps on how long you have to act when dealing with the commission. If the EEOC rules steps are followed inadequately, and not in a timely fashion, they will be unable to proceed with your case. However, if each step is taken correctly, expect for the EEOC to issue you with a right to sue letter. If provided to you, the lawsuit has to be filed within 90 days . For more information about the letter or application process reach out to our pregnancy discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles. We also practice in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and San Diego.

We Want to Represent You

Harassment of any form is unacceptable and subject to liability. Pregnant women, or women that have just given birth are susceptible to getting treated unfairly in the workplace. The Law Offices of Mann and Elias have a skilled employment attorney, Los Angeles based teammate that can meet your needs. Whether you are a parent, soon-to-be parent or know of someone who is, we can represent you fairly. One of our previous pregnancy discrimination cases resulted in a $135,000 settlement. Our success comes from seasoned experience, trustworthy skills, preparation and research.


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