Wrongful Termination Due to Pregnancy

Los Angeles Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Employee Rights

Pregnancy TerminationA pregnancy may be a joyous occasion. Unfortunately, stereotypes about pregnant workers and new mothers are prevalent in workplaces. Some employers discriminate against women because of their pregnancies. You should not be terminated because you are pregnant or because you took a pregnancy leave. If you received a wrongful termination due to pregnancy, you should discuss your situation with the Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers at the Kokozian Law Firm.

Wrongful Termination Due to Pregnancy

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the California law that prohibits discrimination against employees arising out of protected characteristics such as sex, which is a classification that is defined as including pregnancy. Discriminatory acts include termination, along with other adverse employment actions like demotion and failure to promote. FEHA also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to help workers perform their job duties. For example, if you are pregnant, you may need more frequent bathroom breaks, you may need an altered schedule to go to medical appointments, or you may need temporary modifications to job duties and assistance with more physically demanding tasks. Employers in California must engage with you in an interactive process to determine a reasonable accommodation for your pregnancy.

Wrongful termination due to pregnancy can happen in connection with requests for reasonable accommodations. For example, if you are pregnant and need a reasonable accommodation for your preeclampsia, and it would not pose an undue hardship for your employer to provide it, but you are terminated instead of getting the reasonable accommodation, you may be able to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy. It applies to employers with at least 15 employees. Under the federal law, when an employer provides temporarily disabled employees with reasonable accommodations, it is also supposed to provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations. For example, if a coworker who broke a leg is allowed a temporary reassignment to less physically taxing tasks, you may also be entitled to a reassignment based on your pregnancy. If your employer terminates you simply because you are pregnant or because you point out that temporarily disabled employees are given accommodations when you ask for a reasonable accommodation, our attorneys can help you pursue a wrongful termination claim under federal law.

The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law

The California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law permits female employees of covered employers to take up to four months of unpaid maternity leave when they are disabled because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The law covers all employees, regardless of how long they have worked for an employer, if the employer has at least five employees. If you are terminated for requesting leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, you may be able to sue for damages in a wrongful termination lawsuit. Similarly, if you are terminated upon your return because you took leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.

Family Leave

Additionally, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allow women who work for employers of a specific size to take a certain amount of unpaid time off to bond with a child after childbirth or adoption or in connection with fostering. The CFRA allows eligible employees working for covered employers to take 12 weeks of pregnancy disability leave; in total, CFRA plus PDLL leave provides seven months of maternity leave. If you are entitled to CFRA leave, your employer should not terminate you for requesting or taking the leave.

Consult the Top Los Angeles Attorney for Employees About Your Legal Options

If you faced wrongful termination due to pregnancy, you should explore your potential legal recourse. At the Kokozian Law Firm, our trial lawyers fight for victims of pregnancy discrimination. We are committed to pursuing wrongful termination lawsuits aggressively. We represent people in the Los Angeles area and throughout California. Contact us at 323.857.5900 or complete our online form.