A California mother who required intermittent medical leave to care for two sons and her husband recently filed an employment lawsuit against Kaiser. The woman, a vocational nurse for Kaiser since 2010, was fired in retaliation for exercising her right to medical leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), among other claims, according to her lawsuit.
Despite California and federal protections for pregnant workers, complaints nationwide of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace have increased by 35 percent over the last 10 years. In the last year alone, 3,745 pregnancy discrimination complaints were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The goal of a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit is always at least twofold: 1- To protect the expectant mother's job and right to be free from pregnancy-related discrimination and 2- To protect other female employees from going through the same mess with an employer just because of a pregnancy.
After being put on bedrest in February because of a high-risk pregnancy and not scheduled to deliver until October, Ana Fuentes Sanchez was granted leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL). After being off work for 19 weeks - which included the four months under the PDLL and any accrued sick and vacation time - Swissport fired Sanchez for failing to return to work.
Angelica Castillo is fighting back. A former housekeeper for Sharon Stone, Castillo is asserting in a wrongful termination lawsuit against her former employer that she was fired because an injury she suffered while on the job limited the tasks she was able to complete. According to the wrongful termination and retaliation lawsuit, Castillo hurt her back while carrying groceries into her employer's residence.
Discrimination based on pregnancy may be obvious - "You're fired because you are pregnant." But in many cases, it's much more subtle. Failing to make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions or forcing a female employer to take unnecessary medical leave because she is pregnant are also forms of pregnancy discrimination.
Ana Fuentes Sanchez was hired by Swissport, Inc., to clean airplanes in 2007. She was fired two years later after taking 19 weeks off because of pregnancy-related complications. That included all of her unused vacation time as well as the four months she was allowed for leave under California's Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL).
Myrone Bollinger was a bailiff in the Los Angeles criminal court, employed by the LA County Sheriff's office. She suffered from a physical disability that made it difficult for her to go on patrol as required by her position.
Sergio Cervantes, a former UPS delivery driver, witnessed the execution of a gang member while completing his delivery route. He stopped, got out of his van and held the dying man in his arms, doing what seemed like the right thing, but making himself a gang target at the same time. Several gang members asked Cervantes' coworkers about him - his name, the route he drives - essentially looking for information on where he could be found.
David Flores was employed by the City of San Diego as a mechanical inspector when he was involved in a car accident while on the job in 2006. He suffered an injury to his spine during the crash and was off for several months recuperating from the crash.