A person’s pregnancy is cause for celebration. Unfortunately, pregnancy stereotypes can lead some employers throughout California to react negatively to these announcements. Employers who act on outdated beliefs can make pregnant employees feel less welcomed at work.
The mistreatment of pregnant individuals is known in civil courts as pregnancy discrimination. Anyone who feels that they have suffered discrimination due to a pregnancy announcement can take legal action against their employer. Blackstone Law and its workplace attorneys can help throughout the process.
What Is Pregnancy Discrimination?
“Pregnancy discrimination” describes the systematic mistreatment of an individual at any stage of their pregnancy. Employers and other parties can engage in pregnancy discrimination out of the misguided belief that pregnant individuals will leave their jobs or become worse at what they do after giving birth.
These same individuals often want to avoid offering pregnant employees time off. Others may not want to give pregnant employees the accommodations that California law requires them to.
Pregnancy discrimination is illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. While a pregnant individual’s rights will vary on a state-by-state basis, this act means that all pregnant employees are entitled to some workplace protections.
Pregnancy Discrimination: What to Watch Out For
It is not always easy to identify pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. There are signs employees can be aware of. The signs include:
Leading Interview or Workplace Questions
There are certain subjects that employers are not allowed to breach during a potential employee’s interview. If a company’s representative attempts to ask about a person’s plans for the future, medical history, or fertility, the company may be engaging in pregnancy discrimination.
Refusal of Accommodations
After announcing a pregnancy, the pregnant employee may be entitled to certain workplace accommodations. These can include additional seating options, consistent temperature control, and frequent breaks.
Pregnant individuals cannot be denied these accommodations so long as they are requested within reason. Individuals who compromise their health or safety to contend with an employer’s policies should explore their legal options.
Some employers believe that pregnant employees cannot do as much work as they used to. As a result, pregnant employees may find themselves demoted without warning. Alternatively, an employer may “ghost” a pregnant employee, drastically cutting their workload.
This behavior does more than worsen a pregnant employee’s financial anxiety. It also demeans their capabilities in the workplace. Employers who try to demote pregnant employees can be seen as punishing an employee for announcing their pregnancy, as well. As a result, impacted employees can take legal action to defend their rights in the workplace.
Suspicious Termination or Removal from Staff
Employers are not permitted to fire their staff due to pregnancy. As such, many employers will attempt to disguise a person’s removal from their staff through other means. Anyone who feels they were fired from a position under suspicious circumstances may explore those circumstances with a lawyer.
Contest Pregnancy Discrimination with a California Attorney
While most pregnancies are joyful experiences, they come with complications, too. No one should have to contend with discrimination due to their pregnancy.
Employees who feel they are or were facing pregnancy discrimination have the right to pursue civil action. For more information about a California employment law attorney’s role in a pregnancy discrimination suit, call on Blackstone Law Firm. Reach out to us by calling (310) 956-4054 or by filling out our contact form.