A lawsuit was filed against the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) on April 8. In that filing, four of the bus company's employees announced that they were suing their employer for pregnancy discrimination.
Their lawsuit, which was filed with the Alameda County Superior Court clerk outlines how the women were all forced to continue operating their busses while uncomfortably pregnant. It also states that they were regularly exposed to toxic carbon monoxide fumes while continuing to drive operate their busses. Once they ultimately gave birth, they allege that their employer failed to provide them with adequate accommodations for lactation.
In their filing, they point out that their employer never made any attempt to provide them with any modified work tasks. They note that this often left them feeling physically exhausted and stressed. This ultimately resulted in them having to take extended amounts of time off from work without pay. This almost cost some of them their health insurance benefits.
They argue that AC Transit's failure to offer them a modified workload violates the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. That law requires all employers in the state to make accommodations for pregnancy-related disabilities just as they would for workers with any other types of impairments.
Soon after the filing, a spokesperson with AC Transit released a statement noting that their company complies with laws that require them to accommodate pregnant or lactating women. They even noted that each of their depots come equipped with a lactation room that was designed in alignment with state guidelines.
The employees who filed the suit are demanding that AC Transit adopt enhanced policies for accommodating pregnant women. They're also requesting lost benefits and pay.
They're hopeful that a jury will rule in their favor. They note that, if they do, it will send a message to AC Transit that they need to treat their pregnant employees better than they historically have. It's unclear when this matter is set to go to trial.
San Francisco employers are legally obligated to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees once they're made aware of their need. Both federal and state laws may be violated if an employer fails to adjust a pregnant worker's schedule, provide them with modified work tasks or a place to pump. A discrimination attorney can advise you as to whether your employer treated you in an unlawful way.