Our blog frequently discusses how businesses discriminate against women for becoming pregnant or taking maternity leave. This new case of maternity leave discrimination being shared across the internet is shocking because the employer should have known better.
A Long Island judge is being accused of firing his chief clerk for taking unpaid maternity leave. Not only did he fire her, he left evidence in the form of a text message! According to the clerk, who posted a photo of the text to social media, she received a message from the judge saying she was to be replaced.
The clerk has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the complaint, the judge also made comments that will remind you of the 1950s. Alleged comments include “a woman’s place is in the home after childbirth.”
How Can California Moms Fight Maternity Leave Discrimination?
Mothers should never be fired for taking maternity leave. Fortunately, workers in California have multiple state and federal protections that offer protections.
California parents can use the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires employers with 50 or more employees to allow some workers 12 weeks off to care for newborns or foster children. These 50 or more employees must work within a 75-mile radius of where the employee who wants to take leave works. Eligible employees must have worked at the company for 1,250 hours for 12 months. The CFRA has more protections than the FMLA, including some for same-sex workers.
California has also recently changed its paid parental leave laws. Earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that will provide workers partial paid parental leave on an income-based sliding scale.
Workers who are fired for taking parental leave should file complaints with the EEOC and contact an employment law attorney to discuss additional legal options.
The Los Angeles employment law lawyers at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob will defend mothers who have been discriminated against for taking maternity leave.