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November 13, 2023

Average Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement Amount in California

Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

Short answer: The typical settlement for pregnancy discrimination cases in California generally falls approximately between $10,000 and $50,000. However, these settlement amounts can fluctuate significantly based on the specific circumstances and severity of each case, with some settlements being considerably higher or lower.

For cases involving minor instances of discrimination, the settlement amounts are likely to be in the range of $10,000 to $50,000. On the other hand, settlements for cases involving severe discrimination can potentially exceed $1,000,000.

Average Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement in California

Complexity of Case Average California Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement
Minor Approximately: $50,000 – $100,000
Moderate Approximately: $100,000 – $250,000
High Approximately: $250,000 – $1,000,000

While some pregnancy discrimination lawsuits can reach and sometimes even surpass the $1 million mark, the typical range tends to be anywhere from $250,000 to $750,000 depending on the specifics of the case. If a woman is fired or terminated from her job solely because she was pregnant, she can receive anywhere from $200,000 to around $425,000 or slightly less for recovery compensation related to the lawsuit.

Please note that these are average figures, and the actual settlement amount can vary widely depending on the individual circumstances of each case. We always recommend consulting with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific situation.

Example Pregnancy Discrimination Settlements

  1. Cassone Leasing, Inc., a company that leases and sells office trailers and storage containers, paid $85,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The company had dismissed an employee upon learning that she was pregnant.
  2. In 2014, a woman received a $185 million settlement after a federal jury in San Diego ruled that AutoZone Stores Inc. had illegally demoted and subsequently dismissed her from her position following her pregnancy announcement.
  3. A supermarket chain consented to a nearly $3 million settlement in a class action lawsuit in California for pregnancy discrimination, due to its denial of light duty work to pregnant employees – a provision it granted to other temporarily disabled workers.

how much can i sue for pregnancy discrimination

Factors That Influence Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement Amounts

Here are some factors that can influence the settlement amounts in pregnancy discrimination cases in California:

  • Complexity of the Case: The intricacies of the employee’s complaints and the inner workings of the case can significantly affect the settlement amount.
  • Time Spent: The duration spent on the case, including the time taken for investigations, negotiations, and court proceedings, can also influence the overall settlement amount.
  • Strength of Evidence: The strength of the evidence presented can play a crucial role in determining the settlement amount.
  • Nature and Extent of Damages: The nature of the discrimination and the extent of the damages suffered as a direct result of the discrimination can greatly impact the settlement amount.
  • Employer’s Understanding of Legal Responsibilities: The degree to which employers understand their responsibilities under state and federal gender discrimination laws pertaining to pregnancy can also affect the settlement amount.

Please note that these factors are not exhaustive, and the actual settlement amount can vary widely depending on the individual circumstances of each case.

Types of Compensation Available for Victims

Victims of pregnancy discrimination in California may be eligible for various types of compensation, including:

  • Backpay: This includes the wages, salary, or benefits that the victim would have earned had the discrimination not occurred.
  • Lost Wages and Benefits: If the discrimination resulted in the victim losing their job, they could be compensated for the wages and benefits they would have earned.
  • Compensatory Damages: These are awarded to compensate the victim for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the discrimination, such as medical expenses or job search costs.
  • Punitive Damages: These are awarded in cases where the employer’s conduct was particularly egregious or malicious. The aim is to punish the employer and deter similar behavior in the future.
  • Emotional Pain and Suffering: This is compensation for the emotional distress caused by the discrimination.
  • Attorney’s Fees and Court Costs: If the victim wins the case, they may be able to recover the costs of legal representation and court fees.

Please note that the actual compensation will depend on the specifics of each case.

pregnancy discrimination lawsuits

How Do You Prove Pregnancy Discrimination?

To prove pregnancy discrimination, it’s crucial to establish a causal link between the adverse action in questions and the pregnancy or pregnancy-related mistreatment. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Employer’s Obligation: Show that the employer was subject to California’s pregnancy discrimination laws.
  2. Unfair Treatment: Demonstrate that the employer treated you unfairly in some way, such as failing to promote or hire you.
  3. Link to Pregnancy: Prove that this unfair treatment was related to your pregnancy in some way.
  4. Harm Caused: Show that you were harmed because of the unfair treatment.

Note that evidence can be both direct and circumstantial:

  • Direct Evidence: This could be an employer admitting to acting with discriminatory intent because you are pregnant. For example, the decision was made to demote, deny a promotion, or fire an employee because of pregnancy.
  • Circumstantial Evidence: This requires pooling the facts of your case, taken together, which must make it more likely than not that discrimination was behind your employer’s action. This could include an employer deviating from their usual practices, changes in their behavior, or acting in a way that does not make solid business sense without a sound explanation for change when it comes to the pregnant person’s employment.

When You DO Have a Claim and When You DO NOT

Here’s when you do and do not have a pregnancy discrimination claim in California:

When You DO Have a Claim

  • Employer’s Obligation: The employer was subject to California’s pregnancy discrimination laws.
  • Unfair Treatment: The employer treated you unfairly in some way (such as failing to promote or hire you).
  • Link to Pregnancy: This unfair treatment was related to your pregnancy in some way.
  • Harm Caused: You were harmed because of the unfair treatment.

When You DO NOT Have a Claim

  • Time Limit: If more than three years have passed since the discrimination incident, you no longer have the right to file this specific claim with the DFEH.
  • Non-Profit and Religious Organizations: Employees of non-profit and religious organizations are exempt from the Pregnancy Disability Leave Act.

Please note that these are general guidelines, and the actual circumstances can vary widely.

Why Hiring a Lawyer Can Be Crucial in Order to Obtain a Settlement

Enlisting the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in pregnancy discrimination cases can be incredibly important in securing a favorable settlement. An experienced attorney can adeptly steer you through the labyrinth of state and federal laws, assist you in lodging a complaint, amassing evidence, and articulate your case persuasively.

Moreover, seasoned lawyers possess an extensive understanding of the legal terrain and can utilize their expertise to broker a just settlement. They can also aid you in quantifying the full scope of your damages, encompassing lost wages, emotional distress, and other expenses, to ensure you obtain the recompense you are entitled to. As such, enlistment of a lawyer can markedly enhance your prospects of achieving an excellent outcome in your case.

Get Connected with a Lawyer

Securing legal counsel is crucial to protecting your legal rights and obtaining proper compensation for your damages in a pregnancy discrimination case. LawLinq can connect you with a leading pregnancy discrimination attorney in California who will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

The greatest advantage of partnering with us is that our services are completely free to you, and you are never under any obligation to utilize the legal services we suggest. If you have any questions or concerns about your situation, do not hesitate to contact LawLinq today.

About the Author

Jessica Anvar

California Consumer Litigation Attorney Jessica Anvar, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Lemon Law Experts California’s leading lemon law firm. She has multiple years’ worth of experience working with both state and federal lemon laws. Her practice focuses exclusively on consumer protection cases. Ms. Anvar received her J.D. from Loyola Law School. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University. Jessica is very active in her local legal community and has helped thousands of clients across the state of California. She has an outstanding record as a true advocate for consumers.

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