Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers serving Bryan, San Antonio, Edinburg, Monterrey and surrounding areas
We fight on behalf of you and your loved ones to receive just compensation for your damages.
Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney
When we hear the term “discrimination,” we may immediately think in terms of race, national origin, or sexual discrimination. However, pregnancy discrimination is a common, yet all too often ignored form of discrimination that affects workplaces across the nation.
Has your employer discriminated against you because you are pregnant?
If so, you may have a valid pregnancy discrimination claim that allows you to seek justice through compensation for your loss.
Laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Pregnancy discrimination laws protect pregnant employees from workplace discrimination in part because pregnancy is considered a temporary disability under the law. According to the law, employers are required to treat pregnant employees the same as they would other employees with temporary disabilities and provide similar benefits.
For example, employers are required to hold a job open for a pregnancy-related absence for an equal amount of time as they would for jobs that are held open for employees on sick or disability leave. Pregnancy can cause a number of disabling complications such as severe morning sickness or doctor-ordered bed rest, in addition to the actual childbirth and related recovery, along with other related medical conditions that may fall under this law.
Pregnancy discrimination may occur in a number of scenarios, including but not limited to the following:
- You are a well-qualified employee seeking employment. You apply for a position, but are denied employment because you are pregnant. The hiring manager may tell you to come back after you have your child and you are ready to work.
- You already have a job and your employer either demoted or fired you immediately after learning of your pregnancy. This type of discrimination may also take the form of reducing your job responsibilities even though you are still fully capable of performing your job for the foreseeable future leading up to childbirth.
- You were employed prior to pregnancy and return from pregnancy-related leave to find that your employer refuses to reinstate you in the same or equal position as you help prior to your leave when there is no business-related reason for doing so.
- You are employed and your employer treats you differently than they treat other temporarily disabled employees.
- You need to miss work due to a doctor visit for prenatal care. You are disciplined or reprimanded for taking time off, even though other workers who miss work for ongoing medical treatment do not suffer the same consequences.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC
According to U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Pregnancy Discrimination & Temporary Disability
If a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, the employer or other covered entity must treat her in the same way as it treats any other temporarily disabled employee. For example, the employer may have to provide light duty, alternative assignments, disability leave, or unpaid leave to pregnant employees if it does so for other temporarily disabled employees.
Additionally, impairments resulting from pregnancy (for example, gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, a condition characterized by pregnancy-induced hypertension and protein in the urine) may be disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employer may have to provide a reasonable accommodation (such as leave or modifications that enable an employee to perform her job) for a disability related to pregnancy, absent undue hardship (significant difficulty or expense). The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 makes it much easier to show that a medical condition is a covered disability. For more information about the ADA, see http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm. For information about the ADA Amendments Act, see http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability_regulations.cfm.
Pregnancy Discrimination & Harassment
It is unlawful to harass a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
Pregnancy, Maternity & Parental Leave
Under the PDA, an employer that allows temporarily disabled employees to take disability leave or leave without pay, must allow an employee who is temporarily disabled due to pregnancy to do the same.
An employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for special procedures to determine an employee's ability to work. However, if an employer requires its employees to submit a doctor's statement concerning their ability to work before granting leave or paying sick benefits, the employer may require employees affected by pregnancy-related conditions to submit such statements.
Further, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, a new parent (including foster and adoptive parents) may be eligible for 12 weeks of leave (unpaid or paid if the employee has earned or accrued it) that may be used for care of the new child. To be eligible, the employee must have worked for the employer for 12 months prior to taking the leave and the employer must have a specified number of employees. See http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28.htm.
Pregnancy & Workplace Laws
Pregnant employees may have additional rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor. Nursing mothers may also have the right to express milk in the workplace under a provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. See http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs73.htm.
Call Us Today for a FREE Pregnancy Discrimination CONSULTATION!
How We Handle Your Case
Gather All The Evidence. We start every case by gathering all the available evidence, including witnesses, documents and all other available evidence. We also speak directly to any other potential victims and bring in experts if necessary, to understand the details of the termination.
We also gather evidence about your damages. We are experts at gathering the evidence required to build a powerful case and preparing it to present in trial so that a jury can understand and make a fair determination if the case goes to trial.
Calculate Damages. In order to receive just compensation for your damages, we must be able to prove those damages. Damages include lost pay, lost benefits, emotional distress, punitive damages and attorney fees.
We thoroughly review your case to determine the full extent of damages that may be available to you and we seek the maximum damages that you should be entitled. Our trial attorneys know how to present your damages to a jury in trial, if necessary.
Negotiate With The Defense. After we have gathered all the evidence and facts and calculated your damages, we will begin negotiating with the defense. Negotiating with the defense can be a very difficult and frustrating experience if you do not have experience with this process. Our firm generally files a lawsuit on our client's behalf and begins preparing for trial as soon as we begin a case. Filing a lawsuit right away sends a signal to the employer that they need to take this matter seriously. We do the best we can to negotiate, but at some point, negotiations cease and we move towards trial.
Go To Trial. Most of the time, wrongful termination cases settle, sometimes on the courthouse steps, so to speak, other times once evidence is presented. However, not every case can be settled with fair compensation because the employer and their counsel do not believe wrongful termination occurred, or that the case is as valuable as you do.
This is why it is extremely important to have a lawyer that has experience trying cases and is willing, ready, and able to do so on your behalf. Employers are well aware of who they are up against and they treat any settlement offers accordingly. If your lawyer is not experienced at trying cases, the insurance company will not take your case as seriously as they would if you hire an experienced trial attorney from the start.
We Take Pregnancy Discrimination Seriously
Our lawyers take pregnancy discrimination very seriously. Our firm is dedicated to getting you just compensation for your damages and will aggressively pursue your case from beginning to end, even if that requires a trial to verdict.
We recognize that pregnancy discrimination cases often have significant consequences that affect victims and their families and loved ones in many ways. Loss of income, loss of benefits and emotional distress all have serious consequences.
When appropriate, we will hire experts and consultants to help evaluate the evidence to determine damages. We will take witness depositions and retain any experts to establish that wrongful termination occurred.
The lawyers at the Hernandez Law Firm represent clients from all over Texas. Our lawyers understand the details of federal laws regarding pregnancy discrimination that may apply to your potential pregnancy discrimination claim. Our lawyers have the experience and expertise necessary to determine the validity of a pregnancy discrimination claim and pursue all appropriate claims and to recover all remedies and/or monetary compensation available.
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The Hernandez Law Firm provides practical solutions for our clients legal problems. The law firm has built its success by being responsive to client concerns and applying hard work with integrity to find creative legal solutions.