You probably know by now that employers are prohibited from discriminating against their pregnant employees, but what if the pregnant worker suffers a miscarriage as a result of pregnancy discrimination at work?
It is illegal in Los Angeles and all across California for an employer to fire an employee or take any other adverse employment action against an employee because she is pregnant. “Also, employers are prohibited from exposing pregnant employees to worse working conditions or refusing to accommodate their reasonable request for accommodation,” says our discrimination lawyer Los Angeles from JML Law.
Unfortunately, cases where a pregnant employee suffered a miscarriage due to poor conditions, discrimination or bad treatment at work are not unheard of. And although most employers are aware of the strict anti-discrimination laws in California and will not engage in obvious forms of discrimination against pregnant employees, it is important to spot subtle signs of pregnancy discrimination.
More often than not, pregnant employees can determine whether or not they are being discriminated against in the workplace by consulting with a Los Angeles discrimination attorney.
Can pregnant employees sue their employers for miscarriages?
Also, do keep in mind that California’s anti-discrimination laws do not guarantee that a pregnant employee will be provided some special treatment that is more favorable than for other, non-pregnant employees.
In other words, if all employees are exposed to hazardous conditions at work or are treated equally badly (working unreasonably long shifts, engaging in physically demanding tasks, working in very hot or hazardous conditions, etc.), then a pregnant employee is more likely to suffer a miscarriage.
Whether or not that employee will be able to sue her employer for the miscarriage depends on many factors of her particular case. Typically, unless the employee was subject to any worse conditions compared to other employees, she may not be able to sue her employer for the miscarriage.
As always, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced discrimination attorney in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, as each case is unique.
When employees can sue their employers for suffering a miscarriage
Unfortunately, many pregnant workers ignore their doctor’s notes and recommendations and continue working just as they did prior to the pregnancy.
More often than not, pregnant employees are advised to perform only light duty work and take frequent breaks as well as avoid physically demanding jobs. Failure to comply with these rules may cause miscarriage. On the other hand, if your employer ignored or rejected your request for accommodations, light duty work, frequent breaks and/or less physically demanding jobs, and you suffered miscarriage or any other harm, then you might be able to sue your employer.
Pregnancy discrimination protections and other benefits for workers
Our Los Angeles discrimination attorney also reminds you that if you qualify under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave when giving birth. In addition to that, pregnant employees who are about to give birth or have just given birth may qualify to receive temporary disability benefits.
Also, do keep in mind that depending on the environment where you work, there can be a wide variety of hazardous conditions and dangers that may expose you and your baby to harm. You can be exposed to harm not only when working in an environment with chemical or radiation hazards, but also when performing certain physical activities.
Under the law, when a pregnant employee cannot perform certain physical activities at work because of her pregnancy, she has the right to request a reasonable accommodation or be re-assigned to another open position. If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy or your rights have been violated, speak to our attorneys at JML Law. Schedule a free consultation to evaluate your case today. Call our offices at 818-610-8800.