On April 9, a team of discrimination lawyers from national organizations such as Equal Rights Advocates filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court on behalf of one former and one current employee of the grocery chain Raley’s, who claim their stores discriminated against them for being pregnant. The 30-year-old and 19-year-old women in the case were both asked by their store managers to take leave after they informed them that they were pregnant. The 30-year-old, who was employed at the bakery of a West Sacramento Store, allegedly gave her manager a note stating she could not lift over 10 pounds on July 11, 2013, and her manager informed her she had to take leave that same day.

The 19-year-old woman allegedly faced a similar experience at the Bel Air store where she had worked for three years. She claims that she had trouble sweeping aisles, a task that was part of her job, because the smells made her nauseous. When the employee gave her manager a doctor’s note in fall of 2014, she was told she had to take leave or be fired. She is scheduled to return to her job in June 2015.

The team of lawyers working on the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit were attempting to turn it into a class action suit against Raley’s by finding more employees who had dealt with similar treatment. Under California law, employees who are pregnant are supposed to be accommodated in a similar manner to disabled or injured individuals.

A class action lawsuit allows a number of different employees with similar grievances against a company to bring one lawsuit. Judges make decisions on all of the complaints together with one overall decision. The amount in damages awarded is split between the plaintiffs. A lawyer with experience in workplace discrimination lawsuits may be able to help plaintiffs with similar grievances to look into whether they have grounds for a class action lawsuit.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Pregnant Woman Sues Raley’s, Alleging Discrimination,” Denny Walsh, April 14, 2015