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Family Issues | Family Status Discrimination

What is Family Issues, Family Status discrimination?

As with marital status, an individual’s family status – married/unmarried, current/future parent – is protected under California and federal employment law. An employee cannot be treated differently because of his/her marital status or family issues; to do so is family status discrimination.

How does Family Status discrimination occur?

These discriminatory practices can begin with illegal questioning of a job applicant. It is illegal to ask a potential employee questions that would point to marital status or family issues. Questions such as, “Are you married?” “Do you have a family?” “What is your maiden name?” “Are you pregnant?” or “Do you plan to have a family?” are in violation of the law and can be used for a lawsuit.
An employer might also use a worker’s marital or family status when making decisions about job assignments or promotions. Often such actions are based on stereotypes and personal prejudices: “She’s young and eager now, but she’ll probably quit as soon as she gets married.” “If the pregnancy is complicated, it will cost the company a lot of money.” “He already told me he plans to take time off when the baby comes; I’m not going to put his name in for promotion.” “Widows are serious and reliable in low-level positions.” “He doesn’t have kids and probably doesn’t need the money as much, so I’m going to give the bonus to the guy with three kids.” These statements are all in violation of marital and family status discrimination laws.

It is also illegal to use marital or family status as an excuse for termination. For example, an employer might start giving negative write-ups leading to firing of a woman who had spoken of “trying to get pregnant.”

Contact Foley Lyman Law

If you are seeking legal counsel who will listen to your concerns, inform you of your options and represent you effectively, contact Foley Lyman Law Group at 310.706.4050 for a confidential consultation. You can also send us an email to obtain more information or schedule an appointment with one of our award winning employment and business lawyers.

We provide expert legal representation in all areas of Employment Law including Class Actions, Wrongful Termination, Workplace Discrimination for Age, Pregnancy, Gender, Sexual Orientation or Family Issues, Harassment at Work, Severance Negotiations as well as in Business Law, Transactional and Litigation in Los Angeles, Orange County and all of California.

Foley Lyman Law Group LLP
1500 Rosecrans Avenue
Suite 500
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Office: (310) 706-4050
Fax: (310) 356-3105

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