A Silicon Valley engineer has filed suit against her employer Informatica for pregnancy discrimination after she says that she was ordered to return to work early after losing her baby.
In her court filing late last month, the woman outlined how she was elated to find out about both her pregnancy and impending job promotion early in 2017. Later that same year, she found out that she was no longer in the running for a higher-level role in the company. Her baby also died less than an hour after it was born.
The woman had originally been approved to take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leading up to and following her pregnancy. She alleges that her employer asked her to return from maternity leave weeks early after the traumatic birth and death of her child though.
Discrimination against women is not all that uncommon Bay Area tech industry. Female applicants for these roles are subjected to a high level of scrutiny when they interview for these positions. A 2015 Women in Tech study captured how 75% of the women who interviewed for these positions were asked about whether they were married or had kids. More than half of those same women expressed doubt about being taken less seriously if they talked about their families at work.
Industry analysts have watched seen an alarming trend emerge in recent years. Tech employers are steering clear of hiring women of childbearing age. Analysts report that they do this because they don’t want to have to stall projects for months while a female worker takes FMLA for maternity leave. Many of these companies have unlawfully demoted female workers who have become pregnant while working for them.
Both federal and state law allows workers here in San Francisco and elsewhere throughout the state of California to take unpaid leave from the job without having to face losing their job or other adverse consequences for doing so. Even still, many employers violate these laws that exist because they don’t think that they’ll be caught.
If you’ve been treated unlawfully by your employer by being denied leave to address your own or a close family member’s medical situation, then an FMLA claims attorney can help. They can help you compile evidence of your employer’s impropriety and advise you of potential remedies that you can pursue to try to make some amends for what occurred.