The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left a powerful legacy of legal protections for women. One of the protections you might not be aware of is the prohibition on discrimination in employment based upon pregnancy. Ginsburg helped draft the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and lobbied successfully for it to be passed by Congress in 1978. Thanks to her tireless work in a difficult profession, workers across the country are protected in employment during their pregnancies. Learn more about how a Bay Area pregnancy discrimination attorney can help you enforce your right to be free from pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against any employee “on the basis of sex.” The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended this critical clause to include pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. As a result, an employer who discriminates against an employee because of pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical condition is in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Federal law also protects the right to take leave for any medical condition – including pregnancy. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows workers to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave in a twelve-month period without losing their position. This does not apply to all employers or employees, so consult with a pregnancy discrimination lawyer about your leave rights under federal law.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act provides significant protection for pregnant workers. This Act is actually far more comprehensive than the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, so in many cases, it is advisable for workers to pursue their rights under state law instead of federal law. For example, the FEHA applies to any employer with five or more workers (thus making it applicable to more employers than the federal law). It also requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for employees disabled by pregnancy.
State law also provides the right to take unpaid leave without losing your position. Like the federal law, this does not apply to all employers or employees, so check with an employment lawyer about your specific situation. California has also enacted the New Parent Leave Act for all parents – regardless of pregnancy or gender. This allows new parents to take unpaid leave from work within one year of the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. Check with your attorney about the eligibility requirements for this type of leave.
The experienced employment lawyers at Minnis & Smallets fight hard to protect Bay Area workers from illegal employment discrimination based upon pregnancy. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Day City pregnancy discrimination attorneys. By enforcing your right to be free from pregnancy discrimination, you are sending a message to all California employers that the law prohibits discrimination based upon pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, and they are responsible for following this law.
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