Employers in California are subject to state and federal laws prohibiting pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

What is the Law Governing Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Both the FEHA and Title VII protect employees from discrimination based on an array of traits and characteristics that are part of an individual’s sex and gender, which is defined to include pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

What Are the Elements of Prima Facie Discrimination?

“To establish a prima facie case of discrimination under FEHA, a plaintiff must show they were a member of a protected class; they were qualified for the position or were performing competently in the position they held; they suffered an adverse employment action, such as termination, demotion, or denial of an available job; and some other circumstance suggested discriminatory motive.” Khoiny v. Dignity Health (2022) 76 Cal.App.5th 390, 397.

Similarly, to make out a prima facie case of discrimination under Title VII, the plaintiff may demonstrate that “(1) he or she belongs to a protected class; (2) he or she was qualified for the position; (3) he or she were subject to an adverse employment action; and (4) similarly situated persons outside his protected class were treated more favorably. Crowe v. Wormuth (9th Cir. 2023) 74 F.4th 1011, 1035–1036.

Contact Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. for Advice

For advice about pregnancy and the law in California, contact Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. We offer a complimentary case evaluation and contingency fee services. Our case results and testimonials are why employees know they can count on us. Understanding your rights is the first step toward combating pregnancy discrimination.