Attorney to Sue LAUSD for Pregnancy Discrimination
If you work for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the district. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to ensure that justice gets served and that your employer pays for disobeying the anti-discrimination laws which exist to keep women like you safe in the workplace.
It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees who are pregnant or intend on becoming pregnant. Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 after the courts ruled the pregnancy discrimination was not considered a form of sex discrimination – which itself is illegal action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers could legally discriminate against pregnant women and be within their right and receive no punishment for their unethical treatment. Thanks to the PDA, employers are no longer within their legal right to discriminate against pregnant employees. While most employers abide by the anti-discrimination laws of the land, there are still some employers who treat pregnant women differently and make decisions on the status of their pregnancy. Employees who experience pregnancy discrimination have the right to file a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against their employer and collect compensation. The LAUSD must also abide by these anti-discrimination laws.
If you are an employee of the LAUSD and believe that you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy, call us at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group. We are attorneys who will fight for your rights and aggressively pursue the maximum compensation which you deserve.
What Is Discrimination?
Discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee is treated differently or unfavorably because of a characteristic which is inherent to their person. There are many anti-discrimination laws that exist to protect certain groups of people which have a historical record of being discriminated against – it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees for characteristics like race, sex, national origin, disability, religion, genetic information, age, sexual orientation, and pregnancy, as well. Employers cannot treat employees who exhibit any of these characteristics differently and cannot make any employment-based decision because the employee exhibits any of the characteristics, this is not only for their employees but through the entire employment process from interviewing to hiring and firing to the benefits and promotions that are available to employees. The LAUSD must follow these laws and must treat each employee equally.
For example, let’s say you are pregnant and at the end of the school year the principal will retire, and you not only want the promotion but believe that you are the most qualified for the position. If the LAUSD, however, finds out you are pregnant and chooses not to give you the position because of your pregnancy, you have been discriminated against. You then have the legal grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer and collect the necessary damages.
How Do I Prove Pregnancy Discrimination?
Discrimination can be difficult to prove, which is why hiring a qualified employment lawyer may be to your advantage. Competent employment lawyers understand the laws which encompass pregnancy discrimination and will help you gather the necessary evidence in order to prove your case.
There are two primary ways which you can prove pregnancy discrimination. The first way is through direct evidence and the second is through indirect, or circumstantial evidence.
The former is the easiest. Direct evidence requires that you have a record of your employer directly stating (either verbally or in writing) that the reason they made their decision was because of your pregnancy. For example, in the case of the principal position, if an employer states that because you are pregnant and are going to have a baby, you will be too busy taking care of your newborn to give the position the time it requires, your rights have been violated. You have the right to sue your employer for pregnancy discrimination. If you have a direct email or letter stating this, your argument is greatly improved. Likewise, if you have any witnesses that overheard or can attest that your employer acted because of your pregnancy, you can use them to testify on your behalf.
The latter, circumstantial evidence, requires that you and your attorney provide enough indirect evidence to show that it was more likely than not that your employer made an employment decision based on your pregnancy. Below is what may help support your pregnancy discrimination claim:
- Evidence demonstrating that your employer did not follow the normal procedures for you. For example, if you were fired and your employer states the reason for the firing is due to your performance issues, but other employees with performance issues are given an opportunity to improve, you could point out this discrepancy as indirect evidence.
- Dubious timing. For example, if you were terminated the day before you were to start your pregnancy/maternity leave, you could argue this firing was due to your firing.
- The reason given does not make sense. Let’s say, for instance, your employer told you that they were firing you from the science teacher position because they wanted someone with a heavy scientific background (possibly even a Ph.D.), but the person with which they replace you has the same qualification as you do. The reasons given then start to look like a pretext for discrimination.
- Discrimination of Other Employees. If other pregnancy employees have not stayed on the payroll until the end of their third trimester, this patter begins to look like pregnancy discrimination.
How to File a Lawsuit
To file a lawsuit against the LAUSD, you must first file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH), the federal and state employment agencies, respectively. The agency will launch an investigation based on your claim.
Each agency protects your rights under both federal and state anti-discrimination laws. There are forms and statutes of limitations which must be followed the letter – an employment lawyer can help you through every step of the way.
After the investigation, you can then take your employer to court. Your attorney can provide the necessary representation to get you the compensation you deserve.
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is there to ensure that justice is served. We offer free consultation which gives you the opportunity to discuss your case with one of our attorneys with no financial obligation. When you choose us, we give you the zero-fee guarantee. Our promise to you that we won’t charge you for our services unless we can prove your case and get you the necessary compensation. Call us today to see what we can do for you.