The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) states that pregnancy-related discrimination like discriminating an employee or applicant based on her pregnancy condition, childbirth, or other associated medical conditions is illegal. The law comprises unlawful sex discrimination which covers employers with 15 or more employees including that of the state and local governments.
In the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is declared that pregnant employees should be treated similar with that of normal employees given that they can still do what other employees can do given particular conditions and limitations.
As PDA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is imperative for employers to act properly in accordance with the law. Otherwise, they are most likely to face a lawsuit for employment discrimination.
Discrimination has been a major predicament in most employment places in California. Despite the presence and implementation of various California labor laws; this type of employment-related claim is still evident.
In California, employees who wish to file legal charges regarding discrimination cannot do so until they first file “charges” with the federal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and acquire “right to sue” letters. This process is called “administrative exhaustion.”
The United States’ history is laden with accusations and practices of discrimination but unlike before this has seemingly subsided as people become more open to the differences and uniqueness of each race and individual. However, this does not mean that unjust employment practices had completely disappeared. One example is that of the discrimination in California, where recent news reports affirm the different oppressions that workers face. One of this may include pregnancy discrimination.
Pregnancy discrimination is defined as the deprivation of an expectant mother employee of the various pregnancy benefits.
The different aspects of employment where a pregnant employee might specifically experience discrimination would include that of:
However, this is not limited to the aforementioned. Throughout the years, there have been recorded instances that clearly state how pregnant employees are being discriminated against within the on workplaces by abusive employers. These include the following:
- Not adjusting the employee workload
- Limiting the salary of the pregnant employee
- Not hiring an applicant because she is pregnant
- Not promoting an employee because she is expectant
- Making policies that tends to favor the non-pregnant employees over pregnant ones
Discrimination in California is strictly prohibited specially for the specific aforementioned type of employees. It is stated in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 that these workers must be given equal rights. It is therefore important that they should be able to assert their rights.
“At-will” employment which is prevalent in this state should not be an excuse for employers to discriminate against pregnant workers. The welfare of the life of any child and mother is more important than anything else such as work. As citizens of the United States, every American should be able to live comfortable in a democratic and just setting.
Employment discrimination has been accounted as one of the many employment-related issues that several attorneys in California have been dealing with. California labor laws were then created so as to safeguard the interests and well-being of employees. Such laws were also intended to conserve their legal rights.
In most cases, employment discrimination happens because of the wrongful acts of some members of a company. With this, both parties (employees and employers) have to know the following terms and conditions of the laws regarding employment discrimination.
- Any employee from a different country must be allowed to talk in their native language until the job needs the use of English. Prohibiting the use of foreign language at work should be limited not unless the work requires it.
- The workplace needs to be free from any form of harassment by the employers. This form of harassment includes hostile work environment and sexual aggravation.
- Selection of employees should be done objectively. No selection must be based on color or race; hence, qualifications should be the thing to consider.
- Employers are required to conform to the employee’s needs when it comes to taking care of the disabled. User-friendly workplace environment should be established including desks, special chairs, and ramps. This act is expected to aid the disabled employee in performing better in his or her job.
- Employers are expected to allow their employee to spend medical or maternity leaves for at least four months.
- The discriminated employees may be compensated. This law allows reinstatement, back pay, and attorney fees.
- Employers should not retaliate against a complaint or a future criticism by an employee.