Steps To Take If You Were Fired While Pregnant
Suddenly losing your job while you have a baby on the way can be a frightening experience. You rely on income stability, workplace benefits and your right to grow your family.
If you were fired while you were pregnant, that does not necessarily mean that discrimination took place, but it is worth investigating. Pregnancy discrimination happens more often than people realize, despite laws that protect pregnant women, such as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). You also have rights under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) and you may be entitled to Paid Family Leave (PFL).
What Should I Do First?
Contacting an attorney at our office, The Armstrong Law Firm, is always a great first step to protecting yourself when you suspect pregnancy discrimination took place. There are some other steps you can take as well preserve your rights:
Get Information About Your Rights
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are the state and federal administrative agencies that regulate and enforce discrimination issues. They offer some valuable resources that provide an overview of individual rights and how claims are processed.
Gather Information And Evidence You Have Of Discrimination
If you have the means to gather information that was communicated to you regarding why you were fired, do so. If you recall conversations with your supervisor or manager that involve pointed statements about your pregnancy, try to write down what was said, when it was said and the names of any others who may be able to validate your claim.
Direct evidence that proves your manager said you were being let go because of your pregnancy is valuable, but so is circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence shows that your termination somehow went against the typical procedures, that the firing did not align with common business practices/strategy or that employer behaviors somehow changed once your employer was informed of your pregnancy.
File A Charge With The EEOC Or A Complaint With The DFEH
Preserving your right to sue in the event of wrongful termination will require that you file a complaint. It is wise to work with a lawyer through this process to ensure you are meeting proper deadlines and following the proper procedure. In some cases, these kinds of issues can be resolved without lawsuits and litigation when your attorney communicates with your employer directly.
Talk With An Attorney As Soon As Possible
Every case is different, so make sure you work with a law firm that will take the time to answer your questions, investigate your unique circumstances and pursue justice to the full extent possible.
Contact our offices in San Francisco, Oakland, and Sausalito to arrange a consultation. We can be reached online or by telephone at 415-692-0462. We serve clients in Marin County and the entire bay area including San Jose.