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Sacramento Employment Law Blog

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Lesbian police officer files lawsuit citing pregnancy discrimination


Recently, one woman filed a lawsuit against her former employer stating that she had been the victim of pregnancy discrimination and harassment for her sexual orientation. The 42-year-old woman is a police officer and a lesbian, and during her time as an officer in a small town, she was pregnant with twins.

The lawsuit states that the woman was denied family leave and reasonable accommodations were not made for her during her pregnancy. Her requests to move to teaching or dispatch positions during her pregnancy were denied. She was also suspended after she was unfairly singled out during a physical examination. According to the woman, she was the victim of this unlawful treatment because of her sexual orientation and pregnancy.

Despite advances in workplace policies and procedures, many women still face discrimination and harassment on the job. Employers and co-workers continue to mistreat female workers based on wildly inaccurate misconceptions regarding ability, education and lifestyle. However, many of these women are taking legal action against those who engage in abusive or discriminatory behavior.

Being the victim of discriminatory behavior on the job can be emotionally traumatizing, financially devastating and physically damaging to the health of a woman and her unborn child. Because of the toll that this misconduct can take on a woman, it can be crucial to hold an employer or employee accountable for their unacceptable actions.

Pregnant women are protected by a number of state and federal laws so that they are not put in danger on the job. Further, employers in California are prohibited from mistreating any employee based on gender, sexual orientation and marital status. Unfortunately, some employers still try to get away with this behavior. Victims of pregnancy discrimination or any other type of discrimination have the right to take legal action against these parties.

Source: Asbury Park Press, “NJ lesbian cop sues, alleges discrimination during pregnancy,” Sergio Bichao, April 5, 2013

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