The Center for Worklife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law has reported interesting information related to the number of lawsuits filed against employers by workers who are denied family leave. This type of workplace discrimination seems to be prevalent, and more people are taking legal action against their bosses. In some of these cases, the plaintiffs have been awarded substantial amounts. However, this is a complicated area of the law and may be best navigated with professional guidance.
While most of the lawsuits follow discrimination against pregnant employees, revolving around maternity leave and mothers with care responsibilities, a wide range of other family leave claims are filed in California courts. The family leave laws are broadly written to also cover paternity leave for fathers and employees who have to care for disabled relatives or elderly parents. The report indicates that the rulings in more than half of these cases are typically in favor of the plaintiffs.
Along with the Family and Medical Leave Act, workers are also protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act, the American’s with Disabilities Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Workers are also protected against retaliation if discrimination is reported. Unfortunately, many workers are ill-informed about their rights as employees and the fact that some complaints should be reported before the employment is terminated.
California employees who are experiencing any type of workplace discrimination may benefit from consulting with an experienced employment law attorney. After assessing the circumstances, the allegations can be evaluated to determine the viability of claims. If viable claims exist, a lawyer can suggest the most appropriate way forward and provide guidance and support throughout any negotiations or legal proceedings that may follow.