Employment Discrimination Lawyers Serving the Los Angeles Area
Both federal and California laws protect pregnant employees from being discriminated against, and they require employers to provide time off and reasonable accommodations in certain pregnancies. Generally, employment in California is at will. However, under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers may not fire or discipline an employee for becoming pregnant. FEHA applies to all employers with five or more employees, and it will apply to a greater number of cases than the PDA does. If you suspect that you were wrongfully terminated based on your pregnancy, the Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys at The Nourmand Law Firm may be able to help you recover damages.
Wrongful Termination Based on Pregnancy
Even if you do not meet the definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, your California employer may need to provide you with reasonable accommodations if you have medical restrictions because of pregnancy, childbirth or a condition related to them. You may also be entitled to leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and California Pregnancy Disability Act. If you are eligible for leave under both federal and state laws, you are allowed to take four months off for pregnancy disability and 12 weeks of Family Medical Leave Act leave in order to bond with your baby.
If your employer fires you because you became pregnant, because you could not perform your job duties and asked for an accommodation, or because you exercised your rights under CFRA or FMLA, the employer has wrongfully terminated you. Your first step will be to file a charge of discrimination either with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). These agencies have work-sharing agreements, and they may investigate and try to settle with your employer or ask you both to go to mediation.
There is a limited window of time within which to file your charge, and although you may file it yourself, it is often better to work with an attorney. If the EEOC or DFEH is not able to resolve your claim, it will issue a right-to-sue letter. After receiving the right-to-sue letter, you either have 90 days to file a federal lawsuit or one year to file a California lawsuit.
When you are claiming that your employer failed to provide FMLA or CFRA leave or retaliated against you for taking this leave, you may sue the employer immediately without first filing a charge with an agency.
Most workers ask for monetary damages for wrongful termination, rather than reinstatement in their old job. Federal law caps certain damages, but California law does not. The monetary damages that may be available include economic losses like back pay, front pay, lost benefits, out-of-pocket losses, attorney fees and costs, and emotional distress damages. When an employer acts intentionally or egregiously in terminating you, punitive damages may also be available.
Seek Guidance from a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you have suffered a wrongful termination based on your pregnancy, the Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys at The Nourmand Law Firm may be able to help you file a lawsuit to seek damages. We strive to provide aggressive and knowledgeable representation to workers who have been wronged by their employers in Los Angeles, Vernon, Alhambra, Glendale, Montebello, San Gabriel Valley, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Palm Springs, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Van Nuys, Beverly Hills, and other areas of Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, and San Bernardino Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form to set up a free appointment with a pregnancy discrimination attorney.