Fighting for Women's Equality

Raley’s Workers File Pregnancy Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit

April 9, 2015 | by

SACRAMENTO — Today, Equal Rights Advocates, The Liu Law Firm, P.C., and Outten & Golden LLP filed a pregnancy discrimination class action lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court against the Raley’s supermarket chain.  The complaint alleges that Raley’s has an unlawful policy and practice of making reasonable accommodations for workers who are injured on the job, but refusing to make similar reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.  It also asserts that Raley’s discriminates against pregnant workers by treating them less favorably than workers who have been injured on the job. 

The two plaintiffs in the case, Lucianna Borrego and Kirsten Kelly, allege that Raley’s refused to make reasonable accommodations for their pregnancies and forced them to take unpaid leave.  After Ms. Borrego told her managers that her doctor had advised her not to lift more than 10 pounds or engage in heavy manual labor, Raley’s refused to modify her duties or temporarily assign her to a light-duty position.  Instead, they forced her to take unpaid leave.  Similarly, when Ms. Kelly asked her managers to make a reasonable accommodation of her pregnancy, Raley’s refused and told her that she had to choose between going on early unpaid leave or being fired.

“I loved working for Raley’s until they forced me to take unpaid leave,” said Ms. Borrego. “I wanted to keep working, but Raley’s refused to accommodate my pregnancy.  Losing that income when I was struggling to support my family was absolutely devastating.”

“Pregnancy discrimination is a particularly serious problem for women in low-wage, hourly positions like Lucianna and Kirsten, who rely on the income from their jobs to support themselves and their families,” said Equal Rights Advocates Legal Director Jennifer Reisch. “Forcing women to choose between their jobs and the health of their pregnancies is not only wrong – it’s against the law.”

California law prohibits discrimination against pregnant workers and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, including light-duty assignments and transfers to less strenuous positions, if they provide such accommodations to employees with non-pregnancy-related conditions.

Current and former Raley’s employees who have been denied reasonable accommodations for their pregnancies at any time in the last four years and who wish to report their experiences or learn more about the case should visit www.raleyspregnancycase.com or contact Equal Rights Advocates at 415-621-0672, ext. 385.

Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is a national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls.  The Liu Law Firm, P.C. is a San Francisco-based employee rights law firm that advises employees on workplace issues and litigates employment disputes on both an individual and class action basis.  Outten & Golden LLP is a nationwide law firm that represents plaintiffs in a wide variety of employment law matters, including national employment discrimination class action cases, major wage and hour class actions, and contract negotiations.

 

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