If you are pregnant and work in a highly competitive industry you may worry that your position will go to another employee while you take time off to care for your newborn.
Here is what you should know about employers’ obligations to women who take family leave after giving birth.
Do employers have to give employees coming back from family leave the same position?
Though many employers are legally obligated to give employees returning from maternity leave the same or a similar job, there are some exceptions. For example, if there is a legitimate business reason for letting an employee go, such as mass layoffs or corporate restructuring, your company may not have to grant you the position you previously held.
What do you do if you believe you experienced discrimination as a result of your pregnancy?
If you believe your employer discriminated against you because of pregnancy your first course of action to resolve the issue should include attempting to resolve the matter internally. This could involve discussions with your manager or the human resources department if the company has one.
You have up to one year to file a complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. In instances when DFEH is unable to resolve the issue, the organization issues a right to sue letter and sends it to the employee giving them one year from that date to sue the employer.
Whether you can take legal action against your employer for pregnancy discrimination is not a black and white issue. Numerous factors come into play, but ensure you take action swiftly to avoid missing the deadlines.