Los Angeles California Litigation Blog

The impact of pregnancy discrimination

People encounter a myriad of forms of discrimination in the workplace. In certain instances, a person might not even realize that they were discriminated against over a matter that is protected. For example, someone may know that racial discrimination is against the law, but have no idea that it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their pregnancy status. Moreover, people may not be aware that certain types of behaviors that may be considered relatively harmless could also constitute a violation of employment law or be unsure of what to do when their rights as an employee are violated.

Pregnancy discrimination can affect the lives of multiple people in different ways. For starters, pregnant women may become very stressed out or suffer long-term career damage after being discriminated against. Moreover, this and other types of discrimination can have an even further-reaching impact. For example, when a pregnant woman is demoted in violation of the law or illegally fired because of her pregnancy, her entire family could be hit hard from a financial point of view. 

Examining the consequences of gender discrimination

Gender discrimination happens at an alarming rate, even with increased attention in recent years. Sadly, some people are subjected to this form of unlawful treatment and they are not even aware that the behavior constituted gender discrimination and was against the law. If you have dealt with this discrimination, or are unsure if your employer or manager discriminated against you on the basis of your gender, it is critical to take a firm stance and go over your rights. Unfortunately, gender discrimination can carry a plethora of consequences.

In the workplace, gender discrimination can lead to a very hostile work environment and make an employee feel very stressed out. Not only can this get in the way of work, but it can even prompt some people to stop working altogether. Aside from the loss of a job, some people are discriminated against during the application process, turned down for a position they would have been given had it not been for their gender.

Victim of pregnancy discrimination? You can speak out.

As a California employee, you have the right to a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination of any kind. As a woman, you know that this includes freedom from gender discrimination, and more specifically, pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. If you experienced mistreatment of any kind at your job, you have certain options available to you.

Part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers and co-workers from discriminating against women on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth and any medical conditions that relate to pregnancy. As a victim of this specific type of gender discrimination, you could have grounds to pursue financial compensation.

What constitutes disability discrimination?

Employees experience various forms of mistreatment and discrimination at work, whether someone is denied a position they are qualified for solely because of their gender or fired due to their ethnicity. However, some people may also be subjected to disability discrimination, a serious problem in Los Angeles and all across the state of California. If you believe that you were subjected to this form of unlawful discrimination, it may be helpful to look at your options and you should definitely stand up for your rights.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision has provided a number of examples of disability discrimination. For example, an employee may be unlawfully harassed as a result of their disability, or a disability they used to have. If the harassment is so serious that it interferes with an employee's work by creating a hostile environment, it is illegal. Moreover, those with disabilities may be subjected to illegal workplace activity if their employer fails to accommodate their disability according to the law.

Taking action over unpaid wages

There are numerous employee rights matters we have addressed on this blog, from wrongful termination to discrimination and sexual harassment. However, there are other violations of the law that employee may encounter in Los Angeles, and other parts of California. For example, a worker may struggle with unpaid wages and an employer who refuses to pay them for work they have done. If you are going through this yourself, it is crucial to have your employer held accountable and try to obtain the compensation you are owed.

When it comes to employee rights cases, each is unique. Sometimes, an employer may refuse to pay a worker the wages that they were entitled to after the worker quit or was fired. In other instances, an employer may feel as if an employee should not be given all of the money they are owed and only pay them partially. Moreover, an employer may try to discreetly deny a worker the wages they are entitled to by intentionally shorting them on their paychecks. Regardless, employers who fail to abide by employment law regulations should not be allowed to continue on with this behavior. It is also important to realize that many employers have neglected to pay employees properly after they have worked overtime.

Do you qualify for job protection under the ADA?

Acquiring or developing a disability can be extremely difficult to deal with. Yet it need not signal an end to your enjoyment of life on Los Angeles, nor your career aspirations. The Americans with Disabilities Act provides you with certain protections when it comes to securing and retaining employment. The question is do you qualify for them, and what are they? 

According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, you must suffer from a substantial impairment in order to qualify for protection under the ADA. This impairment must have a significant impact on one of your major life activities, such as: 

  • Performing manual tasks
  • Caring for yourself
  • Learning new skills and concepts
  • Performing basic functions like breathing, speaking, hearing, seeing or walking

What legally constitutes harassment at work?

Many people may not like their jobs, but for the most part, the environments that people work in are harmless. Unfortunately though, that still leaves a percentage of employees and work environments that are decidedly hostile and harassing. This can leave some employees feeling uncomfortable with themselves and their job, and that is wholly unacceptable.

The question then becomes: what legally constitutes workplace harassment? As the Department of Labor notes, there are quite a few factors to consider here.

How to keep on chugging when you're thrown off-track by job loss

When you walked into your California office and a note was lying on your desk informing you that your boss wanted a word with you, you immediately got a pit in your stomach. In fact, you were worried something like this might happen when you saw the weird look on your boss's face a few days earlier after sharing news about your pregnancy. You hoped the look and your news weren't connected, however, because you knew pregnancy wouldn't impede your ability to do your job.

Days later, you were fired. After your initial shock wore off, your thoughts immediately focused on how to get back on your feet and move forward without suffering long-term negative consequences. After all, you had a baby on the way.

Workplace Halloween parties and sexual harassment

In a recent blog post, we took a look at some of the different examples of sexual harassment. However, we would like to continue the discussion on this form of unlawful workplace activity and draw more attention to the different ways it may manifest on job sites and work spaces across California. For example, someone may be sexually harassed at a workplace party. If you think that you were subjected to this harassment at a recent Halloween party, you should not be silenced or feel as if the behavior was less of a problem simply because it occurred during a celebration.

Sometimes, companies throw parties to celebrate certain occasions. For example, a company may hold a costume party around Halloween. Unfortunately, the likelihood of sexual harassment and other violations may be even higher during these celebrations for a number of reasons. On the one hand, violators may feel as if their behavior is more acceptable because people are not "working" during the celebration. Moreover, alcohol may be involved during these parties and simply dressing up in costumes can increase the likelihood of sexual harassment in different ways. On the one hand, someone may wear a costume that leads to being harassed by others, while violators may act out in ways they normally would not consider while they are dressed up.

What constitutes sexual harassment?

Recently, a considerable amount of media attention has focused on sexual harassment in light of highly-publicized accusations. However, it is essential to keep in mind that this problem affects workers from a variety of backgrounds across many different industries. If someone has sexually harassed you at your place of work, or you have witnessed someone being subjected to this employee rights violation, it is critical to take action promptly. Sadly, even with raised awareness and harsh penalties, sexual harassment and various types of gender discrimination remain a serious problem for workers in Los Angeles, and throughout California.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that there are many examples of sexual harassment which are prohibited in the workplace. For example, it is against the law for an employee to be harassed because of their sex, subjected to requests involving a sexual favor, subjected to an unwanted sexual advance, or subjected to physical harassment which is sexually-charged. Moreover, verbal harassment which is sexual in nature may also constitute a violation of an employee's rights.

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