California employment lawyer

Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.

Pregnancy discrimination and harassment

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! This is a time of so much change: your body, your finances, and your world look different than they did just a few months ago. Let us answer your questions about how being pregnant affects your job.

What rights do you have in the workplace?

Are you still comfortable working the night shift while pregnant? Do you want to wear a different uniform? What about having a more comfortable chair to sit in? Is morning sickness making it impossible to get to work on time? There are a lot of things to consider.

  Being a pregnant woman gives you rights. You can ask for flexibility in how, when, and where you do your job.  

Just as every pregnancy is different, every employment situation is unique, too. If you’re working as an elementary school teacher, you might be nervous about being exposed to lots of sick children. On the other hand, you might love being an infectious disease lab tech -- you don’t want to be demoted because of your baby bump.

You have the right to be accommodated and to have your requests taken seriously.

Is it wrong for your job to deny you time off?

As you know, being pregnant comes with a lot of appointments and errands. Those new commitments can conflict with your job -- both during and after your pregnancy. Don’t worry! You have many different kinds of requests you can make for time off.

You can request leave for different time periods and different reasons, based on your own special circumstances. These absences from work can be a few hours long or several days, weeks, or months.

Being a pregnant woman gives you rights. You can ask for flexibility in how, when, and where you do your job. You can also ask to be treated the same as your coworkers. We can help you talk to your employer about what you need for you and baby to thrive.

Is your boss treating you in an illegal way?

Have you already had your baby? You have rights to help you transition to work after staying at home. Do you want to return part-time or full-time? Or do you want to return with a different set of duties? Talk to us to determine your options.

  Harassment can cause health issues, which may lead to bedrest or other complications.  

Your employer may not want to respect your rights. If your employer is harassing you because of your pregnancy, we’re here to help. Being harassed is wrong. You’re facing a horrible situation: you’re scared to speak up and lose your job, but you can’t bear the unfair treatment, either.

Are you being treated unfairly or bullied?

You don’t have to endure a hostile work environment. In fact, being quiet sometimes causes bad bosses to take advantage of you or unfairly fire you. We can help to fight your boss’s illegal treatment. And we can do so while also protecting your right to keep your job.

Harassment can cause health issues, which may lead to bedrest or other complications. If your pregnancy has become complicated for whatever reason, you may need someone to fight for you.

Is it wrong for your employer to harass you because of someone else’s pregnancy?

Are you reading this because you have a pregnant woman in your life? Your wife, daughter, or sister may need your support. Your job should treat you fairly. The law is designed to help families.

Is your boss bullying you because you reported discrimination or harrassment?

Perhaps you already suspect that you are being unfairly treated because of your pregnancy. Maybe you told your boss or someone else that you believe your employer is treating you wrongfully because of your pregnancy. You were very courageous to speak up!

You have the right to feel safe and to have job security even after complaining.

  Your wife, daughter, or sister may need your support. The law is designed to help families.  

Retaliation based upon your complaints of pregnancy discrimination or harassment is illegal. Your boss may say that you weren’t being discriminated against based on your pregnancy. But even if your employer can prove that, it’s never fair to discriminate against you because you spoke up.

If you feel you’ve been retaliated against because of your complaints, let us help you.

How can I prove my boss harassed or discriminated against me because of my pregnancy?

The appellate court decided in the case of Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc. that pregnancy discrimination and harassment occur when your boss illegally demotes, harasses, or fires you based upon pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition.

To prove your case, you only need the judge or jury to believe that you or someone you were associated with was pregnant and that a substantial motivation for your firing, demotion, or harassment was due to your pregnancy. If you have witnesses and documents, of course it’s much easier to prove your case. However, if you don’t have these things, don’t feel discouraged. We have handled many cases where someone has been discriminated and harassed because of their pregnancy, but no one was around to see it and it wasn’t in writing. In fact, it’s pretty common for bad bosses to wait until a time when you’re alone before they harass you.

If you’ve been treated differently because of your pregnancy, that’s wrong. You deserve to be treated with respect.

We can help you fight for justice.

Being pregnant and having a baby is one of life's greatest adventures. We want to do everything to make things easier for you during and after this exciting time. We’re here for you!

Please make an appointment for a free consultation in our Newport Beach office. You can contact us by email or phone. We want to help.