Hostile Work Environment Based on Pregnancy
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) are two laws that prohibit pregnancy discrimination. Harassment based on pregnancy is a form of prohibited discrimination. If you are pregnant, giving birth, or dealing with a related medical condition, you should be treated the same as other employees who are not pregnant in the workplace. If you face a hostile work environment based on pregnancy, you should consult a Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyer. At the Nourmand Law Firm, we may be able to counsel and represent you.Recognizing a Hostile Work Environment Based on Pregnancy
In most cases, state laws provide more protection than do federal laws for a pregnant worker, but it is important to consult an attorney about your particular situation. In addition to FEHA, California has enacted the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDLL). The PDLL allows for job-protected leave for pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions.
Employers that have at least five employees cannot discriminate against you based on your pregnancy. Hostile work environment harassment is one of the most common kinds of discrimination. When an employer, a supervisor, or another agent of the employer makes derogatory or offensive comments about an employee due to her pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, they may be creating a hostile work environment. Other behaviors that can create a hostile work environment include yelling, throwing things, and otherwise exhibiting aggressive behavior, as well as telling offensive jokes about a worker's pregnancy, belittling pregnant workers, tampering with a pregnant worker's belongings, stalking, making threats of punishment or termination, abuse, or unfair efforts to block a pregnant worker's ability to advance within the company due to her pregnancy.
To prove a case of hostile work environment based on pregnancy against your employer under FEHA, your lawyer will need to prove that you were an employee, intern, volunteer, or person providing services to the defendant, you were subject to unwelcome harassing behavior due to your pregnancy, the harassing conduct was pervasive or severe, a reasonable pregnant woman under your circumstances would have considered the work environment abusive or hostile, you considered the workplace abusive or hostile, either a supervisor engaged in this harassment or the defendant's supervisors knew or should have known about the conduct but failed to take appropriate, immediate corrective measures, and the harassment was a substantial factor in causing you harm.
The employment status of the person who creates the hostile work environment matters to your potential claim. When it is a coworker or another person who does not have supervisorial power over you, you should make sure to notify HR in writing and follow any other grievance procedure that has been put in place to address hostile work environment harassment. An employer that takes immediate and appropriate steps when it becomes aware of the harassment cannot be held liable, and you should give your employer the chance to fix the situation.
It is common to fear that the situation will be worsened by reporting the hostile work environment. However, when you complain in good faith that you are being treated differently because you are pregnant or disabled by your pregnancy, you are protected against retaliation under FEHA (as well as Title VII, if your employer is covered by Title VII). FEHA requires employers to take all reasonable steps necessary to stop harassment from happening.
Damages that you may be able to recover when you prove a FEHA violation include back pay, front pay, and compensatory damages for emotional distress. You may be entitled to reinstatement or injunctive relief. In some cases in which an employer has acted with reckless indifference or malice, punitive damages may be awarded.Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Lawyer for Your Pregnancy Discrimination Case
If you need to assert your right to be free from a hostile work environment based on pregnancy, the Nourmand Law Firm may be able to counsel and represent you. We offer knowledgeable and tenacious legal representation to workers who have been harmed in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and elsewhere in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form.