What Is Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace?

May 06, 2022

Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is a type of employment discrimination that occurs when an employer treats a woman differently because she is pregnant. If you believe your employer has discriminated against you while pregnant, you have state and federal laws that protect you. Our team at Hennig Kramer Ruiz Singh, LLP explains what constitutes pregnancy discrimination and what you can do to protect your rights.

Common Forms of Pregnancy Discrimination

The most common forms of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace include firing a pregnant employee, refusing to hire a pregnant job applicant, or forcing a pregnant employee to take leave. Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can take many forms. Some of the most common include:

  • Denial of pregnancy-related leave or accommodations

  • Refusal to hire a qualified candidate because she is pregnant

  • Forcing an employee to take a leave of absence once she becomes pregnant

  • Passing over a pregnant employee for promotions or raises

  • Making negative comments about an employee’s pregnancy

  • Harassing a pregnant employee

What Employees Can Do to Protect Their Rights

Pregnancy discrimination is illegal under both federal and state law. If you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, you may be able to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state’s fair employment agency. You may also be able to file a lawsuit against your employer.

California has some of the strictest laws against pregnancy discrimination in the country. Pregnant employees in California are protected from discrimination by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Under FEHA, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

If you believe your employer has wronged you and you’ve been discriminated against while being pregnant, you have the right to file a claim. Contact our Los Angeles employment law attorneys today at (213) 310-8301 to learn more about your options!

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