Around 85% of women employees get to be mothers. Pregnancy is full-on repercussions which sometimes may lender such to be unable to perform their job due to medical conditions.
When this happens, employers should treat them the same way they treat disabled employees. But this doesn’t always happen.
If you believe your employer fired you because of your pregnancy, you may have a claim.
When an employer terminates an employee without a legal reason, this could be pregnancy discrimination. Meaning, any termination when you are pregnant should raise questions about an employment law violation.
Note that there are circumstances where your employer may be forced to fire you, even if you’re pregnant as most California employers employ at will.
Meaning, you can be fired for any reason except illegal reason such as pregnancy, race, gender, etc. For instance, if you always report to work late, take unauthorized breaks, or ignores other company policy rules, your employer is not obligated to retain you because you belong to a protected class.
While your pregnancy is not a guarantee to stay in your employment, certain factors are deemed illegal and would require compensation.
According to the pregnancy discrimination Act (PDA), no one should be discriminated against based on their pregnancy. Despite this, employers continue to fire, lay off or deny promotions to pregnant employees.
If you are unable to perform normal duties due to a medical condition related to your pregnancy, you have a right to provide reasonable accommodation such as:
- Get light duties
- Disability leave
- Paid or unpaid leave
Employers are fond of exploiting employees who don’t take reasonable steps to protect their rights. They provide remedies for any wrongful termination based on pregnancy discrimination. However, you have to produce evidence of why you believe you were terminated due to your pregnancy. Thus it would benefit if you seek legal advice from a wrongful termination attorney in Orange County.
Ways To Prove You Were Wrongfully Terminated Due To Pregnancy
As stipulated earlier, you will not have direct evidence to show. Not unless your employer acted in a discriminatory way immediately they learnt of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy discrimination issues are subtle. It would require someone who understands such cases. For your claim, you may choose to demonstrate:
- Facts about timing: Your employer may have fired you a week before you start your maternity leaves. Or your employer noted that you were pregnant, and after a week, you receive a demotion letter. If such happened, it would suffice that your pregnancy led to your employer’s decisions.
- Failure to follow company policy termination procedures:If other employees with disabilities get prior warnings to change their conduct before firing, the same should happen to you. Employees must be treated the same way. If you were to be terminated, there should be solid reasons for your employer’s actions. Such reason should have some basis. Your employer cannot wake up one day and claim your performance has deteriorated.
- What other employees go through: If there is a trend of terminating pregnant employees at a certain time nearing birth, this could be your employer’s common illegal practice.
There are many ways to prove you were discriminated against due to your pregnancy. It pays to seek legal device from an experienced lawyer who has handled pregnancy discrimination lawsuits.
File A Discrimination Claim
If you are sure about discrimination based on your pregnancy, you need to file a claim. If the situation is linked to your job loss, you may collect damages for any expenses related to your job search.
For fair compensation, you have to demonstrate that your pregnancy was the very reason for your discrimination.
To get the best out of your claim, you have to show that a relationship exists between the adverse action taken by your employer and your pregnancy. This calls for the right evidence. Your lawyer can ensure you document every vital detail to show.
Even after legal action against your employer, you will need job security reinstatement. Your employer should treat you like other workers who had a disability. You should be entitled to reinstatement once you are through with your maternity leave.
Remember that the FMLA allows you to have 12 weeks of parental leave to take care of your child. For your leave, you should be aware of maternity and paternity leave in California.
Your lawyer should guide you on filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or any other relevant agency.
Note that your employer cannot force you to take up a reasonable accommodation that wouldn’t offer the needed help in your condition. However, such accommodation should not cause undue hardship to your employer.
If your claim is valid, you may be entitled to back pay, attorney fees, or any loss you may have incurred about your pregnancy discrimination.