My bonus fell as a result of my pregnancy. Is that lawful?

I work in the HR/Compensation department for a large corporation. I recently received a bonus that reflected average performance. Being disappointed, I pursued discussions with my management, to find out the reasons why (since nothing had been communicated to me earlier, and I've always been a top performer). The explanation given was that management questioned my commitment to my job and to the company.

Unfortunately, in my position, I know exactly how bonuses are determined/administered. We had made a significant change in the bonus program this year, moving it away from a discretionary plan to a performance-driven award. However, my HR management team made what was described to me as "non scientific" decisions based on performance ratings that were not shared/discussed with employees.

My concern is that I was on a pregnancy disability (for a threatened miscarriage) at the time ratings were made. It seems that my lack of "visibility" (due to disability) may have been interpreted as a non-commitment to the company.

Is this type of situation covered under anti-discrimination laws? Thanks.

2 answers  |  asked Mar 15, 2001 8:29 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (2)

Richard J. Vaznaugh
CA law prohibits pregnancy discrimination.

This is covered under California law. If you can prove that a bonus you otherwise would have received was withheld because you were pregnant or under FMLA/CFRA coverage (if applicable) -- that would be a violation of law.


Richard Vaznaugh, Esq.

posted by Richard J. Vaznaugh  |  Feb 21, 2001 5:23 PM [EST]
Eve Chesbro
CA pregnancy laws are very strong, some of the bes

California pregnancy discrimination laws are very strong, some of the best in the nation. The situation you describe could well be a violation of those laws. I strongly urge you to consult experienced labor counsel about your situation.

posted by Eve Chesbro  |  Feb 21, 2001 1:02 PM [EST]

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