Pregnancy Discrimination and Layoffs

By Gregory Thyberg on December 31, 2019


A pregnant woman at workSex and gender discrimination can take many forms. There’s sexual harassment that plagues many workplaces, and there may even be an old boys’ network in place that keeps women out of positions of authority. In cases of pregnancy discrimination, women are targeted at work because they have a baby on the way.

Employment law attorney Gregory A. Thyberg would like to focus on getting laid off as a result of pregnancy discrimination. Our Sacramento, CA workplace law firm can help if you’ve faced this discrimination or harassment because you were pregnant.

Being Laid Off Due to Pregnancy

While there are protections against these kinds of actions, there are numerous cases of pregnant women being laid off from their job solely because they are pregnant. In these cases, employers may be anticipating the increased time off for an employee to give birth, as well as scheduling changes for maternity leave. Some employers may even target women for taking time off work for prenatal care and other medical visits to ensure their health and the health of their baby.

Laying off an employee because she is pregnant is not just a form of gender discrimination, but specifically pregnancy discrimination.

Laws Against Pregnancy Discrimination

Passed in 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is a federal law that prohibits all forms of workplace discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. It’s something our Sacramento law firm can cite if you have evidence of discrimination at your workplace linked to your pregnancy.

Other Forms of Discrimination Due to Pregnancy

In addition to being laid off because you are pregnant, pregnancy discrimination cases can also address other forms of workplace discrimination. This includes being denied a raise or promotion because of pregnancy, sexual harassment, and supervisors or fellow employees creating a toxic work environment because you are pregnant.

Proving You Were Discriminated Against

To prove pregnancy discrimination, you need to show that you were treated differently from other employees on the basis of your pregnancy. You may need to cite specific instances of discrimination to prove your case, and that you were laid off because of pregnancy rather than performance issues. This is why it is important to have a paper trail.

Save all relevant email and correspondence related to your pregnancy and why you were let go. You should also report the instance to HR so there is a record of your issues within the company. This is all important documentation that can strengthen your case.

Filing a Pregnancy Discrimination Complaint

If you have been discriminated against at your workplace, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can also consider filing a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). These organizations can investigate your claim to determine if you have a case for filing a legal action.

For many cases of workplace discrimination, you have up to 180s days from the incident of discrimination to file an EEOC claim. However, since the California Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA) also covers sex and pregnancy discrimination statewide, that deadline is extended to 300 days. It is in your best interests to file a claim as soon as possible.

How Our Law Firm Can Help

Once you’ve been given a Right to Sue Letter from the EEOC or FEHA, seeking a reputable employment law attorney will be crucial for your case. They can go over the evidence of pregnancy discrimination and determine the best way to approach the civil action. Your attorney will help negotiate a settlement with your former employer and can take the case all the way to trial if needed.

Speak with a Workplace Discrimination Lawyer

If you live in Sacramento and have been treated poorly at work due to pregnancy or any matters related to your gender, be sure to contact a skilled workplace discrimination lawyer. You can reach the team at ThybergLaw by phone at (916) 204-9173. Our team is here to help you.

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