As a general rule, employers in California and elsewhere in the United States cannot discriminate against an employee because of a pregnancy. According to the EEOC, a company called Peninsula Packaging will pay $45,000 to an employee for discriminating against her because she was pregnant. The employee reportedly needed accommodations after becoming pregnant that the company would not provide to her. This was a violation of Title VII in the opinion of the EEOC.
It was a violation because the company was treating the pregnant worker differently than it would have treated others who needed accommodations. In a statement, a representative of the EEOC in Fresno said that it commended the company for working with the organization to resolve the matter. In addition to the $45,000, the company will hire a consultant to create equal opportunity training programs.
If a company treats a worker differently than others based on gender, race or other protected attributes, the treatment may run afoul of employment discrimination laws. When employment law violations occur, a worker may have the ability to take action against the employer that could result in compensation or other forms of relief.
An attorney may be able to show that an employee was discriminated against using personnel records or other documentation. In some cases, witnesses may offer testimony about the case or about their own similar experiences. This may be enough to show that workers were discriminated against because they were pregnant or for a similar reason. Depending on the circumstances of a case, it may be possible to settle out of court as opposed to resolving the matter through a formal trial.