Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys in California

Pregnancy discrimination is job discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Pregnancy discrimination involves a woman being harassed, discriminated against or treated differently or unfavorably because of her pregnancy. 

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. 

Because pregnant women are considered a federally protected class, employers are not allowed to use pregnancy as a reason for any of the following: 

  • Demoting a pregnant employee 
  • Denying reasonable accommodations to major job functions for pregnant employees 
  • Firing a pregnant employee while on medical leave 
  • Insisting on forced time off for a pregnant employee 
  • Refusing to allow medical accommodations for employees who are pregnant 
  • Refusing to hire a potential employee 

Damages for Pregnancy Discrimination

If you succeed in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, reinstatement is one available remedy in which you can request that your employer be ordered by the court to restore your job. 

However, because of the potentially hostile relationship between employee and employer, claiming money damages as compensation is more prevalent. Such damages might include: 

  • Back pay 
  • Court costs and attorney’s fees 
  • Front pay 
  • Lost benefits 
  • Out-of-pocket losses 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Punitive damages 

What Can I Do About A Pregnancy Discrimination? (4-Step Process)

  1. Document any and all cases of workplace abuse and/or discrimination. Keep email copies or other documents showing your experience. 
  2. Speak discreetly with coworkers you trust to see if the same abuse has occurred with them. If so, you might have a joint case together. 
  3. Submit a complaint with the appropriate authorities. 
  4. Keep records of any retaliatory actions after you have filed a complaint. You can compare them with the behavior of the perpetrator prior to the actual complaint. 

How Can I File A Claim?

If you think you’ve been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, you have the option to file an administrative claim with a government agency. Both the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handle claims for pregnancy discrimination. They generally cooperate with one another, so you don’t usually need to file with both. 


Is There A Deadline for Filing A Claim of Pregnancy Discrimination?

There are strict time limits on filing a claim with either the DFEH and EEOC.  

There are differences between the two agencies in terms of the types of employers they deal with and the types of pregnancy-related claims they handle, so it’s usually best to get some legal help before jumping in alone. 


Consult with Our Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys in California

Please do not hesitate to contact Potter Handy, LLP to discuss the strength of your case and review your possible legal options. 

Call (800) 383-7027 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.