In California and across the United States, women makeup roughly half of the employees in the workplace. Out of that number, 85% will become mothers at some point during their careers. In spite of women getting more positions and career opportunities than ever before, women are still facing pregnancy discrimination in the United States. Over 50,000 pregnancy discrimination-related claims were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Fair Employment Practices agencies in the past 10 years alone.

Pregnancy discrimination takes place when a pregnant employee is discriminated against solely due to the fact that she’s pregnant. The discrimination covers women who are pregnant, women who have just given birth and women who have suffered some sort of negative health condition as a result of the pregnancy or birth.

There are actually laws on the books that are supposed to protect women from this type of discrimination. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was enacted in order to prevent harmful acts against women who become pregnant during any portion of their employment. It covers issues like women not getting promoted, not getting choice assignments, not obtaining promotions, getting laid off or not being hired at all. The legislation is supposed to prevent negative behavior like isolating pregnant women or making nasty comments to them.

One of the many reasons that pregnancy discrimination is so problematic is because it ends up affecting the health of the mother as well as the health of her unborn child. Women who experience pregnancy discrimination undergo extreme levels of stress. That stress affects their health, a tough situation since their bodies are already going through so much due to pregnancy. This creates severe health issues for the mother, and it can lead to issues for the baby like lower birth weight and preterm birth.

Women in California who’ve experienced discrimination at their workplace may benefit by working with law firms that have extensive experience handling employment discrimination cases. These firms are responsible for understanding the intricacies of employment law and may be able to help their clients receive the help they need.