Pregnancy discrimination can be based on actual pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to the pregnancy. It is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you based on any of these factors, or to ask if you are or intend to become pregnant.
Pregnancy discrimination often occurs when a well-regarded employee is treated differently after announcing that she is pregnant. After the pregnancy announcement or after a maternity leave, your employer violates the law if it treats you adversely (demotion, termination). But most likely scenario, is when your employer starts picking on your job performance, micromanaging, slams you with an unjustified Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) or attacks your attendance record (even if they are related to medical appointments or childcare). Other examples of pregnancy discrimination may occur when the employer denies your request for maternity leave, passes you over for promotion, demotes or fires you, removes your job responsibilities, increases your workload, gives you poor performance reviews, or encourages you to quit.
Sounds familiar? You might need an attorney to help you out.
Moreover, California law extends protection to breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding. This means that employers may not take any adverse action against you based on breastfeeding. This includes decisions regarding pay, as well as disciplinary action. Additionally, employers may not harass breastfeeding employees or create a hostile work environment, by, for example, teasing or making inappropriate comments related to breastfeeding.
The California Labor Code also requires employers to provide reasonable breaks to mothers who wish to express breast milk, and must make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with a private room to express milk, other than a restroom stall.
If you believe that your employer violated any of these conditions, it is important to speak with an experienced pregnancy discrimination attorney at Workplace Justice Advocates, to understand your rights and legal options.