Pregnancy discrimination is an unfortunate reality that some working women face. If you suspect that you might have been terminated from your job due to pregnancy, it’s critical to familiarize yourself with your rights and take appropriate action.
Pregnancy discrimination happens when women are treated unfavorably in hiring or employment matters because of pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to pregnancy. This includes termination, demotion or any adverse employment action based on pregnancy.
In California, pregnant employees are protected by both state and federal laws. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions. Additionally, the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) offers protection at the national level.
If you believe you were fired due to pregnancy, document all relevant details, including conversations, emails and any discriminatory behavior. This documentation can be valuable if legal action becomes necessary.
Filing a complaint
In the Golden State, you can seek legal recourse for pregnancy discrimination by filing a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). This initiates an investigation into your case. The DFEH is committed to ensuring fair employment practices and can be a powerful partner in combating pregnancy discrimination. If the DFEH investigation supports your claim, you may receive a “Right to Sue” notice. This enables you to pursue legal action against your former employer.
If you’re successful in legal proceedings, you may be compensated for lost wages, emotional distress and, in some cases, reinstatement to your previous position. Understanding the potential remedies can help you make informed decisions about pursuing legal action.
Getting fired due to pregnancy is unjust, and no woman should endure such discrimination. By understanding your rights, documenting incidents and seeking legal recourse, you can empower yourself in the face of adversity.