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Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination in California: Real-Life Cases

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Are you a victim of pregnancy discrimination? Workplace discrimination is occasionally blatant, but more often than not, negative behaviors directed toward you by your employer may leave you wondering if your employee rights have been violated.

It is important to know that pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Cal. Gov. Code § 12960. In spite of these legal protections, pregnancy discrimination is still an issue for working women. The EEOC reports that the number of pregnancy discrimination charges filed between 2007 and 2011 averaged around 6,000.

PREGNANCY-DISCRIMINATION.png

Are you a victim of pregnancy discrimination? Workplace discrimination is occasionally blatant, but more often than not, negative behaviors directed toward you by your employer may leave you wondering if your employee rights have been violated.

It is important to know that pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Cal. Gov. Code § 12960. In spite of these legal protections, pregnancy discrimination is still an issue for working women. The EEOC reports that the number of pregnancy discrimination charges filed between 2007 and 2011 averaged around 6,000.

The following California pregnancy discrimination cases from the EEOC newsroom will help shed some light on your employee rights, what constitutes pregnancy discrimination, and how California workers just like you fought back - and won.

Agricultural Supplier Olam Settles EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Suit for $140,000 in Fresno

FRESNO, CA - A jobseeker applied for an executive assistant position at Olam America's Inc. but was denied the job due to her pregnancy. The applicant was first offered the position, but upon disclosing that she was pregnant, Olam then rescinded their offer and selected a different candidate who was not pregnant. The EEOC filed a lawsuit and Olam settled for $140,000.

"Employers should hire and retain the best qualified job applicants, irrespective of one's gender or pregnancy," said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, which includes Fresno in its jurisdiction.

Read the full story

Security Company Sued for Pregnancy Discrimination

SACRAMENTO, CA - Quest Intelligence Group refused to allow a female security officer to return to work after her maternity leave, violating federal law. The EEOC's suit alleged that after taking leave to give birth, Tabitha Feeney tried to schedule her return to work, but was instead told that work wasn't available for her. Quest also told her that she would be contacted if work came available. Quest never contacted Feeney, but solicited applications for security guard positions and hired several males.

"Losing my job and facing a brand-new job search right after giving birth was incredibly stressful," said Feeney. "I had a new baby to support and no income. I had planned on going back to my job, and it was devastating to lose that."

Read the full story

Bayview Nonprofit Sued For National Origin and Pregnancy Discrimination

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - A Bayview Hunters Point nonprofit terminated and failed to promote a Samoan employee who was pregnant, violating federal law.

The United Council of Human Services (UCHS) hired Tanya Thompson, a Samoan, in May 2002 as a Peer Advisor. Just days prior to beginning maternity leave in 2007, Thompson learned that a co-worker had been promoted to a Supervisory Peer Advisor position. The co-worker was male, not Samoan, and had far less experience and qualifications than Thompson, who provided excellent service and dedication to her job for five years. After her maternity leave, Thompson attempted to return to work, but was instead turned away and informed that her job was eliminated due to funding cuts.The EEOC found that UCHS actually hired a male, who also wasn't Samoan, to replace Thompson.

"Our investigation found that Ms. Thompson faced comments such as 'Every time I see you, you are pregnant,'" stated EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado. "Stigmatizing pregnant women of a particular ethnicity or race compounds the barriers to a level playing field. Employment decisions must be based on merit and ability, not stereotypes and bias."

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Sentinel Real Estate Settles EEOC Pregnancy Bias Suit

LOS ANGELES, CA - A pregnant employee of Sentinel Real Estate Corp. was denied a promotion over maternity leave concerns. The EEOC alleges that the Sentinel leasing consultant sought promotion to an assistant manager position at Town Center Apartments in Valencia, California. Instead of being offered the promotion, a Sentinel property manager expressed concerns about whether she would miss work due to her pregnancy and fail to return from maternity leave. The manager then hired a non-pregnant outside applicant for the position. Sentinel settled with the EEOC for $60,000.

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Retailer Genesco Sued for Sex Discrimination

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - An assistant manager for apparel retailer, Genesco, Inc. was dismissed from her job days after giving birth. Leah Marshall began working at Genesco shoe store Journeys in 2005. She was promoted to an assistant manager position prior to taking maternity leave in October 2007. The EEOC alleges that Genesco told Marshall she could return to her job after maternity leave. However, Marshall instead received a call a few days after she gave birth informing her there was no longer a position for her. Genesco violated federal law when it fired the employee due to her pregnancy instead of allowing her to return to work upon having her baby.

"All employers need to understand that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth and pregnancy-related conditions," said EEOC Regional Attorney William Tamayo. "The EEOC has seen pregnancy- and childbirth-related claims increase along with the economic crisis, and so we will vigorously defend workers' rights in this area."

Read the full story

You shouldn't have to worry about being terminated or mistreated at work due to your pregnancy or childbirth. Our California pregnancy discrimination attorneys will fight for your rights and the financial compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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