Legal Question in Discrimination Law in California

Discrimination due to Pregnancy

Employer(insurance co)announced RIF for CA in Sept. Approx 50 secretaries in SoCal affected.Some to retire, most already placed in other dpts.Was 5 months pregnant when RIF announced.HR set me up w/4 interviews in other dpts.Been w/company 3+ yrs. Others already placed w/less time (2 temps & others w/ 1-2 yrs or less).Immediate mgr told me ''Should be realistic, nobody will hire me pregnant'' As of today, I'm the only one that will have no job as of 1/1/01.Now 8 months pregnant & even if I'm not told directly that's why I don't have a job, I know it.Been told by HR & other employees more positions to open next yr & will have no problem coming back.Why should I? Don't feel like I'm ''in good hands'' anymore!Co. now has many positions throughout the state (listed on web site,, etc)but they won't find position for an 8-month pregnant employee.This is same company voted ''every'' year the #1 company for working mothers according to magazine of same name.On maternity leave now.Was told by HR that FMLA doesn't protect me because of RIF. Do I have a case for a law suit or should I not even bother with such a big company. Help!!

Asked on 12/15/00, 7:32 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Harrison Spivak & Harrison

Re: Discrimination due to Pregnancy

You may have a cause of action under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act which:

1. Requires employers to provide leaves of up to four months to employees disabled because of pregnancy or childbirth.

2. Requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodations requested by an employee, with the advice of her health care provider, related to her pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

3. Requires employers of 50 or more persons to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks leave in a 12-month period for the birth of a child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, for an employee's own serious health condition, or to care for a parent, spouse, or child with a serious health condition. (Employers are required to post a notice informing employees of their family and medical leave rights.)

If you prevailed, you could obtain your job, all back pay, attorney's fees and compensatory damages.

You may also have a cause of action under the FMLA.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

David G. Spivak, Esq.

Spivak & Harrison, LLP

(310) 772-2274

[email protected]

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Answered on 12/20/00, 10:50 am

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