For over 40 years now, the federal government has afforded employment protections to pregnant women via the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This law basically prevents women who are in the workforce from being singled out or discriminated against because they either want to have child or are expecting a child and have to take time off of work for pregnancy-related issues. Likewise, California has for several years had its own, broader laws in force that further protect pregnant women.
As this blog has discussed on several previous occasions, it is unlawful for a Fresno, California, employer to treat their pregnant employees, or job applicants, differently because they are pregnant. On the grander scale, this means not firing, refusing to hire or disciplining a person because she pregnant. However, there are also some subtler forms of pregnancy discrimination that can injure employees both emotionally and financially.
A mass transit company that helps move commuters and others about the eastern part of the Bay Area in California is facing allegations of pregnancy discrimination. In addition to the pregnancy discrimination allegations, the company, AC Transit, is also being accused of not allowing mothers to engage in breastfeeding or breast-pumping, both of which are activities that California law protects.
California employees may be interested to hear that the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced the settlement of allegations against a major nationwide corporation. The action alleged pregnancy discrimination in that a major retailer, which ironically sells women's clothing, was accused of not accommodating pregnant employees as required by law.
This blog has written previously about the many rights expectant mothers in California enjoy. These rights are enshrined in several different laws, both state and federal. Together, they ensure that a Fresno mom does not have to choose between having a child and maintaining her career. One such law which protects pregnant women, at least indirectly, is the Family & Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.
A previous post on this blog discussed a sad case in which a pregnant mom, who was a California prison guard, lost her baby after she had to break up a fight involving inmates. The woman is now suing her employer on account of its medical leave policy, a policy which she claims served to discriminate against pregnant employees.
A prison guard who had a history of struggling to conceive is suing her employer, one of California's state prisons, after she lost her baby. The woman said that the loss occurred while she was trying to break up a fight between two prisoners. The woman was seven months along at the time of her accident, and, although the initial conclusion was that she had not injured the baby, she continued to have pain in the area where she fell.
As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, employers in the Fresno area must afford pregnant workers certain rights and protection, including the right to be free from discrimination based on pregnancy.
Thousands of women have been subject to unlawful discrimination because they were pregnant, or because their employers feared they would become pregnant. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the agency that receives and investigates claims of pregnancy discrimination at the federal level. In its role, the EEOC has compiled statistics both of the number of new pregnancy discrimination claims reported and the number of pending cases the EEOC has resolved.
Fresno employers probably know that discrimination based on pregnancy is unlawful. Unfortunately, this means that some employers who treat pregnant employees differently try to hide their violations.