Legislators try very hard to obtain gender equality in the workplace. A new California law that prohibits companies from paying female employees lower salaries than males if they do similar jobs came into force on Jan. 1. However, women on all levels of the employment ladder may be vulnerable to discrimination when they decide to start a family -- even those in high profile jobs in Beverly Hills.
If you had to leave your executive position in the corporate world because your plans to have a baby did not fit into your employer's plans for the business, a viable wrongful termination claim might exist. However, proving that your boss violated the pregnancy anti-discrimination laws may be challenging. The employer will likely give no reason for firing you -- or any fabricated reason to cover up discrimination. You are entitled to take legal action against your employer.
The process may be complicated, and there are specific mandatory procedures to follow. These start with filing a formal complaint with the appropriate authorities.
Filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Right to Sue -- If you can show that your announcement of your pregnancy led to a demotion, the denial of leave, unwarranted disciplinary action, termination or other discrimination, you can file a formal complaint with the EEOC. You have 180 days to this, and the Commission will evaluate the allegations before issuing a letter giving you the right to sue.
- Investigation -- The EEOC will launch an investigation, starting with informing your employer of your complaint. The company must respond with motivation for their actions, and, based on this, the EEOC may request documented proof and interviews with your employer.
- Mediation -- Depending on the circumstances of your case, the EEOC may require your employer's participation in mediation. Failing resolution, the EEOC will issue the Right to Sue letter. You will then have 90 days to file a federal lawsuit against your employer.
If these procedures seem overwhelming, and if recovering losses and damages from the unjustifiable loss of your job seem unattainable, you may find comfort in knowing that you need not fight this battle on your own. If you live or work in Beverly Hills, California -- or the surrounding areas -- you can seek the support and guidance of a law firm with many years of experience in cases of employment discrimination and wrongful termination. A seasoned attorney can take over from the EEOC by making further attempts to reach a settlement with your employer. However, your lawyer will be ready to go to court if that is the only way in which to achieve the best possible outcome.