There are many women in the workforce in California and the challenges they face have been in the spotlight recently. Many women have spoken out about the sexual harassment they have endured, the pay gap between men and women and other forms of discrimination. One that has not been spoken about quite as much though is pregnancy discrimination. Being pregnant is a very natural part of life and there are laws which prohibit employers from discriminating women who are pregnant.
However, the statistics show that despite these laws that many pregnant women are discriminated against each year. For the fiscal years of 2011 - 2015, there were 31,000 charges of pregnancy discrimination filed with the EEOC. Approximately 30% of these charges were based on the fact that the pregnant woman was fired, but many women also filed charges based on the fact that they were not given adequate accommodations such as being able to take more bathroom breaks or even carry a water bottle with them.
There were complaints made for other actions as well, but it does not matter whether the woman was fired or not, the law prohibits any adverse action taken against a woman based on her pregnancy. If an employer does take an adverse action or does not provide adequate reasonable accommodations for pregnant women, they could be held liable for their actions. The employer could be forced to compensate the pregnant woman for any damages suffered as a result.
Many women get pregnant in California and it is a completely natural part of life. However, when women are pregnant, the employer knows they will need to take time off and may need some accommodations. Employers tend to only look at the bottom line, but luckily the law recognizes the rights of pregnant women. So, if women are discriminated against due to their pregnancy, the employer may need to compensate the woman appropriately. Experienced attorneys understand workers' rights and may be able to help protect them.
Source: www.nationalpartnership.org, "By the Numbers: Woman Continue to Face Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace" accessed on May 17, 2018