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Riverside Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers

Protecting Employees From Pregnancy Discrimination Across Southern California

Employees in California are guaranteed the right to be free from discrimination. Discrimination can take many forms and target many different groups. California law includes broad protections for marginalized groups, including pregnant people and new mothers. Pregnant employees and job applicants cannot be treated differently from other employees due to their pregnancy.

If you have been fired, rejected for a job, subjected to harassment or other discriminatory conduct in the workplace as a result of your pregnancy or new motherhood, the zealous workers’ rights attorneys at Ochoa & Calderón are ready to hold your employer to task and ensure they compensate you for the wrongs they have committed and the harm you have suffered.

Pregnancy Discrimination and Retaliation

Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. California law strictly protects people who are pregnant from discriminatory conduct in the workplace. That means that your employer is not permitted to take any adverse employment action against you or foster or permit harassing conduct to be perpetrated against you in the workplace. Discriminatory conduct can take many forms, including:

  • Passing up a job applicant
  • Refusing a promotion
  • Cutting salary, benefits, or other forms of compensation
  • Transferring a worker to a less desirable position or location
  • Paying other male or non-pregnant workers more for substantially the same job
  • Singling out pregnancy-related care for additional scrutiny or medical clearance procedures
  • “Constructive termination” by denying an employee the resources or coworkers necessary to perform their tasks
  • Refusing pregnancy leave or other medical leave that would be granted to other employees
  • Failing to hold a job open for an employee on pregnancy leave for the same length of time they would an employee on other disability or sick leave

Pregnant workers covered by anti-discrimination laws include permanent employees, temporary employees, job applicants, and even unpaid interns. California law protects workers at workplaces with at least five employees, while federal law protects employees from discrimination at workplaces with at least 15 employees.

Any adverse employment action taken against you as a result of your pregnancy, childbirth, or related condition could be considered a form of workplace discrimination. Talk to a workplace discrimination attorney to discuss any discriminatory conduct you’ve experienced in your place of employment to find out your rights.

Your Workplace Rights as a Mother

In addition to your right to be free from adverse employment actions, your employer must allow certain additional accommodations to satisfy their obligations. Failing to offer appropriate accommodations or permit covered leave may constitute pregnancy discrimination or otherwise give rise to labor law claims.

Your employer is obligated to, among other things:

  • Provide reasonable accommodation for your pregnancy-related medical needs, such as by temporarily modifying your work duties, providing you with a stool or chair, providing regular breaks for rest or breastfeeding, or even transferring you to a less strenuous position should you have the medical need
  • Provide you with your legally required pregnancy disability leave (PDL), and hold your job or an equivalent job open for you when you are no longer “disabled” from pregnancy or childbirth so long as it is within the relevant time frame
  • Provide you with time and private space to express breast milk
  • Never harass, retaliate, or discriminate against you based on your pregnancy or your exercise of any of your rights

Pregnancy Leave

Certain state and federal laws grant mothers leave for pregnancy and other medical conditions. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees covered employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave to use for the care of a new child, including for parental leave, inability to work during pregnancy, medical conditions arising from the pregnancy, and prenatal care such as doctor’s appointments. The FMLA covers private employers with at least 50 employees and all public agency employers.

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) applies to employers with five or more employees and guarantees employees up to four months of unpaid leave for workers who cannot work due to pregnancy. Workers who are eligible for both federal and state leave can take both sets of leave consecutively–meaning seven total months of unpaid, job-protected leave. Moreover, California’s temporary disability insurance program permits employees to collect up to two-thirds of their usual wages while unable to work due to pregnancy.

If you wish to take time off or you need to take time off during your pregnancy, talk to a knowledgeable California pregnancy discrimination and pregnancy leave attorney for advice. You might need to satisfy certain eligibility requirements in order to trigger your rights, including giving your employer proper notice. If your employer refuses you accommodation or leave despite their legal obligations, you could have a claim for back wages, statutory damages, and other compensation.

Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys Serving Riverside and Southern California

If you have been subjected to pregnancy discrimination in the workplace in violation of California state or federal law, reach out to Ochoa & Calderón for a free consultation. We take appropriate cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only charge a fee if we are successful on your behalf, and our fees come as a percentage of the amount we recover for you. You’ve got nothing to lose by calling now, but you could miss out on enforcing your legal rights if you wait too long. Call us at 951-901-4444 in Riverside or throughout Southern California at 844-401-0750. Our lawyers are ready to fight for you.

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