Even companies run by women can face pregnancy discrimination claims. The Wonderful Company is owned and led by female billionaire, Lynda Resnick. Resnick began the business as a working single mother. Years later, the company is now facing claims of pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination.
One former employee recently brought claims against the Wonderful Company for pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination. Two years ago, the woman was working as a marketing director when she found out she was pregnant. Tragically, the company fired her 12 weeks into her 16-week maternity leave.
Luckily, there are federal and state laws that can protect women from pregnancy discrimination. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows most employees in the United States 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. Additionally, the California Family Rights Act can allow California residents up to 16 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. As such, the woman claims California law would have allowed her to stay at home another four weeks after her federal maternity leave ended.
Often, companies facing discrimination claims have demonstrated a pattern of unlawful practices over the years. A former employee at the Wonderful Company brought a similar case in 2012.
According to Forbes, the company fired the new mother the day she returned from maternity leave. Unfortunately, because of conditions in employment contracts, the Wonderful Company has required employees to settle claims outside of court using arbitration.
Pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination claims can be complex. If your company has wrongfully discriminated against you or unlawfully terminated your employment, consider speaking with an employment law attorney to discuss your options.