Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers
Leading Advocates for Pregnant Workers Across California
Our experienced Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorneys are committed to helping women and new parents stand up for their right to have children and earn a living wage.
We are one of the only firms in the state that specifically focus on pregnancy discrimination cases. We are leaders in this field and take on a wide range of cases, including cases with a relatively small dollar value, because we are activists. We want to change the playing field so new mothers and all family caregivers can fairly compete in our economy.
We will not stop until employers no longer fire pregnant workers because hiring a temp is too much of a “hassle.” We will not stop until employers no longer fire pregnant employees to avoid paying for their medical insurance during their leave. We will not stop until firing you or discriminating against you is not just a “cost of doing business.”
If you believe you are being discriminated against in the workplace because you are or were pregnant, King & Siegel LLP welcomes you to call our legal team today at (213) 465-4802 for a free review of your case.
What Does Illegal Pregnancy Discrimination Look Like?
Pregnancy discrimination takes many forms. In California, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee for any of these pregnancy-related reasons:
- Wrongful Termination: It is illegal for your employer to fire you for having a child, being pregnant, or planning to become pregnant. Your employer also cannot terminate you because of “pregnancy-related medical conditions,” like being on bedrest, postpartum depression, or breastfeeding. With few exceptions, your employer cannot terminate you while you are on maternity or parental leave.
- Hiring Discrimination: It is illegal to fire or not hire someone because they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. In fact, employers are prohibited from asking female applicants whether they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. However, many employers continue to ask job applicants about pregnancies and decline to hire pregnant women.
- Discrimination in Job Duties: It is illegal for your employer to demote you or change your job assignment due to your pregnancy. Your employer must also let you work if you can perform your job and must allow you to return to work if you have been absent due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related health conditions (although they can require a medical certification to return to work).
- Failure to Accommodate Work Restrictions: Your employer is required to make a good faith effort to accommodate your pregnancy-related disabilities or work restrictions. This includes transfer to a less strenuous position, providing you with a modified work schedule, and providing you with modified equipment, among other things.
- Failure to Accommodate Disability or Baby-Bonding Leave: If you are pregnant or recently had a child, it is illegal for your employer to refuse to allow you to take leaves for medical appointments, for a pregnancy-related disability, or for bonding after your child’s birth.
- Pay Discrimination: It is illegal for your employer to pay you less because you recently had a child, because you are pregnant, or because you plan to become pregnant.
If you experienced discrimination due to your pregnancy, or another type of employment law violation, contact us.
Common Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination
While pregnancy discrimination can take many forms, common instances of discrimination we help clients seek justice for include:
- An employer fires a pregnant woman for “performance issues” shortly before her maternity leave so they can hire a full-time, permanent replacement.
- An employer claims that a pregnant employee’s performance, “focus,” or “dedication” has slipped since they had a child or became pregnant and denies them promotions or bonuses.
- An employer “eliminates” a pregnant employee’s position while they are on leave and hires a new employee for a similar role who isn’t pregnant.
- An employer demotes a pregnant worker so she will no longer be covered by the employer’s health plan during her maternity leave.
- An employer fires a pregnant worker so it does not have to pay for her child’s premiums on the employer’s health plan.
- An employer refuses to repurpose an empty office for a lactation room and instead forces a new parent to pump in the bathroom.
- An employer counts absences for pregnancy-related medical appointments against the employee under a “no-fault” attendance policy.
- An employer allows its supervisors to mock a pregnant woman for being sick, being tired, or needing accommodations.
- An employer fails to order cheap and readily-available equipment to protect a pregnant worker.
- An employer refuses to allow a pregnant worker to sit down or take additional breaks
- Many employers openly question whether female employees who recently gave birth continue to be sufficiently “devoted” to the business.
How to Complain About Denied Accommodations
First, you can make clear that your need for accommodation is urgent. Depending on the severity of your employer’s failure to accommodate, you can make clear that you will not work until legally compliant accommodations are granted.
Unfortunately, while you have legal rights, not much can be done to force your employer to comply with the law if they are intent on ignoring it. You may find yourself in a situation where you must choose between breastfeeding and working.
You should know that if you resign, you may still be able to pursue a wrongful termination case based on your employer’ failure to accommodate you. This is called a “constructive discharge.”
What if My Employer Broke the Rules?
If you believe you have experienced discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on your pregnancy, or if you have been denied your right to leave, you can contact a Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorney.
You should choose an attorney with a specific focus on pregnancy discrimination. They will be familiar with the complicated leave laws at play, the common medical issues that arise, and the damage that pregnancy discrimination does to the families suffering from it.
Our office provides free case reviews for all potential pregnancy discrimination clients. This is a specialty area of practice and one that we are deeply passionate about.
Our experienced legal team also handles other types of discrimination cases, including: