The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) was passed to protect employees from sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This act made it illegal for an employer to discriminate against their employees because of pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions. Additionally, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) ensures that employees who are eligible receive leave for serious health conditions that they or their family members have. Pregnancy-related medical care is also covered under this act. However, The FMLA, only applies to companies with 50 or more employees and the employee must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months with 1,250 hours worked.
What You Need to Prove
To win a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, you will need to prove that you were treated differently than other employees and that your treatment was motivated by your pregnancy. This requires either direct or circumstantial evidence to support your claims. Direct evidence can be derogatory statements made by your employer about your pregnancy, while circumstantial evidence can be proof that the employer strayed from usual practices or policies, or changed its behavior because of your pregnancy. This includes:
- Facts that demonstrate your employer didn’t follow its usual termination procedure when you were fired
- Suspicious timing of your termination
- Inadequate or weak reasons for firing you
- Discriminatory treatment of other pregnant employees
If you are being discriminated against because of your pregnancy, you should write down and keep track of specific incidents or statements that have been made by your employer. You should also make sure that all communications with your employer are in writing or e-mail in case they need to be used as evidence in your case.
- Pregnancy Discrimination - see examples of discrimination and damages you could be entitled to
- My Rights as a Pregnant Employee
- What is the Family & Medical Leave Act?
- Filing Suit for Harassment in the Workplace
- Can I Sue my Employer for Not Giving me Breaks?
Do you need help filing a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit? Contact our Hollister employment law attorney to schedule your free consultation today.