Woodland Hills Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney
Fighting for the Recognition You Deserve
Under California law, employers are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant workers. However, each year, pregnant women in the workplace find themselves in precarious professional circumstances due to employers who view them as a liability. When these employers have an adverse effect on their pregnant employees, the employees may have legal grounds to seek relief.
At the Law Office of Payab & Associates, our team of Woodland Hills employment lawyers has recovered millions in relief for California workers who have been wronged by their employers. If you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy, our team is ready to hear your story, outline your options and, if needed, diligently pursue restitution on your behalf.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination is a pervasive issue in workplaces across California and the United States, affecting the lives and careers of countless pregnant individuals each year. It occurs when an employer treats a woman unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. Despite legal protections in place, pregnancy discrimination continues to be a significant concern, with women facing various forms of discrimination.
Forms of Pregnancy Discrimination
Because workers who become pregnant suddenly have medical and family planning responsibilities to tend to (including maternity leave), many employers will look for excuses to marginalize or even terminate them. Pregnant employees have been exposed to numerous actions from employers that qualify as discrimination because of this.
Common forms of discrimination against pregnant workers include:
- Termination of employment (before or after birth)
- Denied maternity leave
- Denied promotions
- Denial of training
- Refusal to hire
- Denial of time off to tend to medical needs
- Failure to preserve position following maternity leave
If you believe you have been subject to one of these actions due to your pregnancy, you may have viable legal options to seek relief from your employer. Our firm knows what it takes to substantiate these claims against California employers and what can be done to ensure that these workers' voices are heard before our legal system.
What to Do if You Experience Pregnancy Discrimination in California
If you believe you have experienced pregnancy discrimination in California, it is essential to take proactive steps to protect your rights and seek recourse. Here are some recommended actions:
- Document Everything: Keep detailed records of any discriminatory actions or remarks you experience or witness in the workplace. This includes documenting dates, times, and individuals involved, as well as any correspondence with your employer regarding your pregnancy or related accommodations.
- Report the Discrimination: Inform your employer or human resources department about the discrimination you are experiencing as soon as possible. Many employers have policies and procedures in place for addressing discrimination complaints, and they are legally obligated to investigate and take appropriate action.
- Consult with a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer: Consider seeking legal advice from an experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyer who can assess your situation, explain your rights, and help you navigate the legal process. A knowledgeable attorney can advocate on your behalf and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
- File a Charge: If your employer fails to address the discrimination or if you believe they are retaliating against you for reporting it, you have the option to file a charge of discrimination.
Can Your Employer Retaliate Against You for Asserting Your Rights?
It is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for asserting their rights against pregnancy discrimination. Retaliation can take many forms, including termination, demotion, reduction in hours or pay, harassment, or other adverse actions. If you believe you are being retaliated against for asserting your rights, it is crucial to document the retaliatory actions and consult with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can advise you on the best course of action to protect your rights and seek appropriate remedies.
What Damages Can You Recover from Pregnancy Discrimination?
When an individual experiences pregnancy discrimination, they may be entitled to recover damages for the harm they have suffered. These damages can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case but generally encompass several key areas.
- Lost Wages and Benefits: One of the primary forms of damages in pregnancy discrimination cases is compensation for lost wages and benefits. If an employer has unlawfully terminated or demoted a pregnant employee, the individual may be entitled to recover the wages and benefits they would have earned had the discrimination not occurred. This can include back pay, front pay for future lost earnings, as well as compensation for lost bonuses, health insurance, and other employment benefits.
- Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish: Pregnancy discrimination can have a significant emotional toll on the victim. Being subjected to discriminatory treatment in the workplace can cause stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Damages for emotional distress and mental anguish aim to compensate the individual for the psychological harm they have endured as a result of the discrimination. These damages may cover therapy or counseling expenses, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering experienced.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, courts may award punitive damages to punish the employer for their discriminatory actions and to deter similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages go beyond compensating the victim for their losses and are intended to send a message that discrimination will not be tolerated. The amount of punitive damages awarded depends on factors such as the severity of the discrimination, the employer's conduct, and their financial resources.
- Attorney's Fees and Legal Costs: Victims of pregnancy discrimination who prevail in court may also be entitled to recover their attorney's fees and legal costs. This provision ensures that individuals have access to legal representation and can pursue justice without facing financial barriers.
Deadlines for Filing a Discrimination Complaint in California
In California, there are strict deadlines for filing discrimination complaints. Generally, you must file a complaint within two years of the discriminatory action. However, it's essential to consult with an attorney to ensure you meet all applicable deadlines and preserve your right to pursue legal action. Failure to file a complaint within the statutory limitations period may result in the loss of your right to seek legal remedies for pregnancy discrimination. Therefore, it's crucial to act promptly if you believe you have been discriminated against based on your pregnancy or related conditions.
How The Law Office of Payab & Associates Can Help
Pregnancy discrimination is a pervasive issue that can have significant consequences for pregnant individuals and their families. If you believe you have experienced pregnancy discrimination in California, it's essential to know your rights and take appropriate action to protect them. Together, we can work towards creating workplaces that are inclusive, supportive, and free from discrimination for all individuals, regardless of pregnancy or parental status.
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