Irvine Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
Pregnancy is often a time of mixed emotions. Expecting parents are excited about the upcoming birth of their child but are also nervous as to how this will affect them financially. For expecting mothers who work, this is an especially important concern, as pregnancy is often seen as a barrier to advancing in the workplace.
For this reason, California has a number of laws designed to protect pregnant employees from workplace discrimination. If your company has treated you less favorably because of your status, it is important to seek advice from a qualified Irvine pregnancy discrimination lawyer. At The Garza Firm, we represent employees who have been denied their rights under the law and can help you fight for compensation and other legal damages.
What Is Considered Pregnancy Discrimination in California?
You are probably familiar with federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination based on certain traits like race and sex. California also considers pregnancy a protected class. In simple terms, this means that an employer (or a prospective employer) cannot treat you differently based on the fact you are or might become pregnant.
Among the employer actions that qualify as pregnancy discrimination in California:
- firing an employee who becomes pregnant;
- refusing to hire job applicants who are pregnant;
- denying sick leave to an employee because they are pregnant;
- demoting or reassigning an employee to a lower-paying job assignment because of pregnancy;
- using layoffs to get rid of pregnant employees; and
- denying health insurance or other fringe benefits to an employee based on their pregnancy.
California law further provides rights to pregnant employees and parents with newborn children. This includes the state’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law and the California Family Rights Act. These statutes guarantee certain leave rights, and you cannot be fired or treated less favorably at work for exercising those rights.
If you have been the victim of any of the types of pregnancy discrimination described above, your first step is normally to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), or in some cases the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC enforces federal civil rights laws, which also provide certain protections against pregnancy discrimination. California’s laws tend to offer broader protections, however, so many workers choose to pursue a remedy with the state.
Should the DFEH or EEOC decline to take direct action against an employer, the agency will issue you a “right to sue” letter. This enables you to file your own pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. If successful, you can recover a variety of damages, including back pay, reinstatement to your previous job, and even compensation for your ongoing stress and mental suffering.
Contact The Garza Firm Today
Pregnancy is a stressful enough time without having to worry about an employer taking adverse and illegal action against you based on your expectant status. If you need legal advice or representation from a skilled Irvine pregnancy discrimination attorney, contact The Garza Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.