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.
There are many women in the Fresno area who work hard to balance both their desire or even need to hold down a full-time job against their desire to have a family.
Female employees fight for equality across the nation. While some strides have been made, the difference is treatment can be obviously seen at times. It is known that all women have the potential to bear children; however, some employees use an employee's pregnancy as an excuse to alter their work assignment, transfer them or even demote or terminate them. Taking such action when an employee is pregnant is not only a form of discrimination but it is also illegal.
A few months ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot impose a "significant burden" on pregnant workers and that an employer is not justified in making accommodations for a large percentage of non-pregnant workers, while denying the same kinds of accommodations to pregnant workers. This is a huge step in the right direction.
Individuals in California who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant may be particularly interested in the results of one future Supreme Court ruling. That ruling has to do with pregnancy discrimination and how that discrimination is interpreted. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed by Congress in order to protect pregnant women from job discrimination and to remind employers that doing so was illegal. However, a woman working for UPS was denied a request to only lift boxes weighing under 20 pounds despite having a note from her midwife requesting light duty for the duration of her pregnancy.