Many employers discriminate against pregnant employees even though it is against the law. Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment in Housing Act (FEHA), you cannot be discriminated against because of your sex, which covers pregnancy, childbirth, and health conditions related to your pregnancy. When discrimination happens to you, you have the right to bring a lawsuit with assistance from a seasoned workplace discrimination attorney.

Employees have recourse under both Acts, which are similar, but claims under FEHA are typically resolved more quickly and do not limit the damages you can recover. If you have questions, a Sacramento pregnancy discrimination lawyer with Erkel Law, P.C. has the answers.

What is Pregnancy Discrimination?

Under Title VII and FEHA, employers cannot refuse to hire, train, or promote a pregnant woman, one who is trying to conceive, or one of childbearing age who could become pregnant if pregnancy is the reason for the refusal. When a current employee becomes pregnant, employers cannot:

  • Demote a pregnant woman
  • Rescind benefits or reduce wages
  • Terminate them for being pregnant
  • Harass, belittle, demean, or retaliate against them
  • Transfer them to an unsuitable or undesirable position
  • Change a pregnant woman’s work schedule so it is inconsistent

Different rules apply when a pregnant woman decides to file a discrimination complaint. A pregnancy discrimination lawyer in Sacramento understands the stress this causes and could guide employees through the regulatory complaint process, filing a lawsuit when it is right.

What to Know and Where to Go

Employees who wish to file a discrimination complaint under Title VII should know that their workplace must employ at least 15 people to be bound by federal law. Complaints must be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days after the discriminatory conduct.

Complaints filed under FEHA require the targeted business to employ at least five people. FEHA complaints must be filed with the California Civil Rights Department within three years of the offending conduct. A Sacramento pregnancy discrimination lawyer at Erkel Law, P.C. could ensure all deadlines are met when filing a suit.

The Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act of 2023

Other federal and state laws protect pregnant workers. The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) and FEHA require employers to abide by pregnancy restrictions, such as reassigning heavy lifting duties or relaxing hours, if these restrictions do not unduly burden the employer. The state also enacted laws to provide maternity leave and extended leave when a mother is disabled by the pregnancy.

One of the most recent protections is the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2023, which prohibits discrimination against pregnant workers and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for them.

Protects Your Rights With a Sacramento Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney

The federal and state laws concerning pregnancy and discrimination can be confusing, but you do not have to suffer the abuse quietly or struggle with the financial upheaval of being fired for pregnancy causes.

You have rights and Erkel Law, P.C. has the experience to protect them. Your lawyer should be compassionate and able to represent you in a regulatory complaint as well as bring a lawsuit for lost wages, undue stress, attorney’s fees, and, in some cases, damages to punish the employer. Call a Sacramento pregnancy discrimination lawyer who could get you justice.


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