Workplace Discrimination Against Pregnant Women

Pregnant Woman at Work

Discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace is an insidious form of gender discrimination. Although protection exists in employment law for pregnant women, some of the forms of discrimination can be more difficult to quantify than an obvious firing. If you think your standing at work has been undermined because of a pregnancy, talk to an employment lawyer with experience in cases involving gender discrimination in San Jose, CA . Knowing your rights under California employment law is an important step in protecting yourself from bias.

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Legal Protections for Pregnant Women

Federal laws protect women from discrimination based on pregnancy. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 requires that employers treat pregnancy in the same way they would any short-term disability, as long as the company has 15 employees or more. It also defined that pregnant women must be allowed to work as long as they are able to work. The Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, which was established in 1993, states that all companies with more than 50 employees must allow pregnant women 12 weeks of unpaid leave for childbirth, provided that the woman has been a full time employee for a year or has 1,250 hours of work on record. In recent years, however, courts have ruled that employers can terminate employees on FMLA leave if they can prove the position has been eradicated due to downsizing.

Circumventing the Laws

Many employers don’t outwardly violate these protections but instead do so in ways that are more difficult to prove. On returning to work, women may find themselves demoted. They may be excluded from important projects and skipped over for opportunities for which they are qualified. Although employment law prevents retaliation against employees who claim discrimination, often women who file complaints are eventually fired. Their employers simply wait a sufficient amount of time between the complaint and the termination to link the firing to something else.

Finding Help

Although it can be extremely difficult to prove these allegations, discrimination lawyers recommend that women keep precise records if they believe pregnancy is being used against them. Talk to an employment lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can protect your job and seek damages where relevant.

What Workplace Discrimination Can Look Like

Discrimination Gavel

When most people think of workplace discrimination, they think of obvious, egregious examples that anyone could readily identify as wrongdoing. However, in many cases, discrimination can be subtler and not always easy to recognize. If you have any suspicions that you have experienced discrimination in the workplace in San Jose, CA, talk to a lawyer who is experienced in employment law to find out if your rights have been violated. Here is a closer look at what some common types of workplace discrimination look like.

Workplace-Discrimination

Religious Discrimination

Religious discrimination refers to bias against employees on the basis of their religion. In some cases, companies may refuse to hire people of a certain faith or may bypass them for promotions. In other cases, employees may not be permitted the time, place, or scheduling that lets them practice their faith. For instance, a Muslim may be denied time to pray when his or her religion requires or accommodations may not be made to allow a Jewish person to stick to his or her Kosher diet. Each of these instances can amount to workplace discrimination and may entitle the victim to compensation.

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination can happen to both young and old employees. Young people may be targeted by disparaging comments about their age or passed over for opportunities for which they are qualified strictly because of their age. The same things can happen to older employees. Some companies may resist hiring them for positions for which they are qualified because of their age, while others may skip over older people for promotions. Making any kind of hiring, promotion, or termination decision based on age alone is a violation of employment law.

Racial Discrimination

At its most obvious, racial discrimination involves refusing to hire someone because of his or her race. However, it can take many other forms, such as wrongful termination, unequal wages, or segregation in the workplace. Racial discrimination can also include disparaging comments, refusals to offer promotions, and different standards for work quality or performance.

The Role of a Discrimination Lawyer

Discrimination Video

If you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace, such as unfair dismissal based on discriminatory practices, then employment law is on your side. Fight back against discrimination in the workplace by hiring an employment lawyer in San Jose, CA to protect your rights. This video explains more.

Workplace discrimination involves wrongful actions taken against you, up to unfair dismissal, based on your gender, race, national origin, religion, or other protected identity. This also includes age discrimination, such as not getting hired for a position solely because of your age. An attorney can help you understand your rights, determine if your case meets the criteria of workplace discrimination under the law, and fight back to preserve your career and get you damages to which you may be entitled.

Mediation and Arbitration Services

Mediation

Sometimes, the best place to settle a dispute is not in the courtroom. Mediation and arbitration can help you come to a fair agreement without the need for a court case. If you wish to consider an alternative way of settling a dispute, be sure to choose an experienced attorney near San Jose who also knows when moving forward with litigation is necessary. At the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego, that is exactly what you will find.

Using our expertise in employment law, we can use mediation to come to an agreement with the other party in your dispute or enter arbitration to come to an equitable solution. These alternative dispute resolution procedures can save the time and money that are required for a trial, but they are not always the best fit for every case. If we believe your workplace discrimination, wrongful termination, or other employment law case belongs in the courtroom, then we are prepared to help you fight for your rights. Our commitment is to ensure every client gets the right representation for his or her case and that all of his or her rights are protected.

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What to Know About Suing for Workplace Harassment

Woman Yelling at Man

If you feel that you have been the target of harassment or discrimination in the workplace, you should contact an employment lawyer sooner, rather than later. Employment law establishes specific procedures for filing complaints. Your employment lawyer will help you preserve your employee rights at your job in San Jose, CA.

Workplace Harassment

Providing Notice

Before taking action under California labor law, your employment law attorney will likely advise you to provide notice of the unacceptable practices at your workplace. If you decide to file a lawsuit later, your lawyer will need to prove that the behavior in question was not welcome. You can protect your right to seek damages by advising the harasser that his or her behavior is unwelcome or that you find it offensive. It may be best to do so in writing; however, if you have a verbal conversation, be sure to make a written record of it. If you are concerned for your safety, you may wish to avoid giving notice to the harasser and instead file a complaint with the human resources department. Keep a copy of the complaint. If you intend on filing a lawsuit against the company, your employment law attorney may need to prove that the company knew about the problem, but failed to take appropriate corrective actions.

Filing an Administrative Charge

If the harassing or discriminatory behavior does not stop, consider talking to your employment law attorney about filing an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Filing a lawsuit before filing an administrative charge may result in the dismissal of your lawsuit. The EEOC or your state agency will notify your employer of the charge and may decide to conduct an investigation. If the EEOC declines to file a lawsuit on your behalf, it will furnish you with a “right to sue” letter.

Filing a Discrimination Lawsuit

Let your attorney know as soon as you receive the right to sue letter. Once you have this document, you do indeed have the right to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will determine the most appropriate defendants to name, such as your harasser or the company, and will represent you in court if the case goes to trial.