A healthcare provided in California, Family HealthCare Network, settled a federal pregnancy discrimination lawsuit with United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The settlement involved the company’s having to pay $1.75 million in fines, as well as re-evaluating their procedures and ensuring additional training of managers.
The accused employer operates 20 health care facilities throughout this state. The crux of the government’s pregnancy discrimination claim revolved around the provider’s leave policies. Apparently, the company made it extremely difficult for pregnant employees to get the leave time they needed, even when it was to attend to a legitimate pregnancy-related medical condition.
In some cases, the company even fired employees when they could not return to work at the end of their unduly short leave time. A few people were even fired even though they had leave time available to them. Presumably, as a health care provider, the employer was well aware of the possible medical complications many of those who are pregnant will face as they await the arrival of their children. The EEOC will be able to monitor the provider for three years per the terms of the settlement the company entered in to with the government.
This was a case in which the government itself sought justice on behalf of pregnant employees who had been unlawfully discriminated against. And, it still serves as a useful reminder to employees in the Fresno area and throughout California that, should they get pregnant, they have legal rights under state and federal law.
To summarize these rights, their jobs should not be put in any danger because they are expecting a child. If an employer chooses to ignore these rights, employees can seek the appropriate legal relief with the help of an experienced employment law attorney.