The attitude toward pregnant women in the workplace has changed drastically over the course of the last several decades. In fact, there are laws in place protecting women from discrimination based on their pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women still face persecution despite these laws. In fact, a California woman turned to litigation after she was terminated from her position at a storage facility.
The case involved a woman who was hired to work at a storage facility in Nov. 2010. However, she reportedly discovered she was pregnant several months later. She was warned by other co-workers that her boss — the owner of the business — would not be happy about her pregnancy, and she claims he did, in fact, react angrily to her news. While she declined to quit her position, he vowed to force her to quit. According to reports, he did not want to fire her because he did not want her to collect unemployment benefits.
Soon after, she was assigned tasks that had never been her job responsibilities previously, including cleaning the office, including the toilets. She claims that her hours were also cut, prompting her to file a reduction of hours with the Employment Development Department. Soon afterward, her employer informed her that he had been notified that she had filed for unemployment, and her services were no longer needed.
A court eventually awarded the woman $1.325 million after she filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. Most of the award, $1 million, was for punitive damages. Although her employer appealed the decision, the Court of Appeal has recently upheld the lower court’s decision. The defendant argued that his actions were not reprehensible enough to result in punitive damages, but the court ruled otherwise.
Women who have faced discrimination in a California workplace may feel as if they have no options for justice. However, an attorney with experience with litigation related to business law can help these victims fully understand their paths to recourse. In many cases, a civil lawsuit may be the only option to prevent others from suffering similarly in the future.
Source: insideselfstorage.com, “Self Storage Employee Wins $1M Verdict in Wrongful Termination Case,” Dec. 6, 2017