Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is still very prevalent in California. Earlier this year we won a trial for over $500,000 for a woman who was discriminated against because of her pregnancy. Beyond that, our firm receives several calls per week from female employees being treated unfairly because of their pregnancy. The journey of having a child is already filled with enough stress, both physical and emotional, and it further adds to the stress of having a child when a pregnant employee’s job and financial security are being threatened by the very company they work hard for. Therefore, when an employer discriminates you, you should contact an employment lawyer for a free consultation.
Pregnancy Discrimination in California
Under Federal and California law, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or any other related medical conditions (such as breastfeeding). Basically, to have any kind of case at all, the employee must show that her employer knew or was aware that she was pregnant and evidence of employer’s intent to discriminate based on pregnancy.
Reyes v. Gary R. Arnold and First Take Productions Inc.
Reyes is a 2009 pregnancy discrimination case coming out of the Los Angeles Superior Court, and is a great example of how pregnancy discrimination in the workplace typically occurs. Plaintiff worked as an executive assistant and manager of the fundraising department for Defendant. Plaintiff was terminated after she informed her employer that she was pregnant. Not surprisingly, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant terminated her because she was pregnant.
Clearly, Defendant knew she was pregnant because she informed them. But was their discriminatory intent to fire the Plaintiff based on her pregnancy? Yes, on numerous occasions, Defendant made derogatory and negative comments regarding Plaintiff being pregnant. Defendant showed his annoyance with her being pregnant as he kept referring to her as having “a belly full of Iranian baby.” The jury found in favor of the Plaintiff, and was awarded over $700,000 in damages.
Although Reyes is a few years old, California juries are still ruling in favor of employees who are subject to pregnancy discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is a serious thing, and it never looks good in front of a jury when an employer fires an employee while they are on maternity leave or upon giving birth to their child. If you believe your employer is discriminating against you because of you are pregnant or because you have given birth, visit our webpage on pregnancy discrimination.