May 7, 2015 - Luciana Borrego, new mother to a baby boy born on Nov. 13, 2013, claims that she lost her job in Ukiah at Raley’s due to her pregnancy.
Raley’s is a part of a West Sacramento-based retail grocery store chain. In June of 2013, Borrego recalls advising her managers of her pregnancy (five months before her baby was born). On July 11, approx. one month later, she came to work with a doctor’s note advising her supervisors that she should not be lifting anything over ten pounds. Within an hour, Borrego claims she was called to the director’s office at the store and advised that she needed to take unpaid leave.
She was advised that she needed to go home, as the company didn’t accommodate pregnant workers even with the doctor’s note. Ms. Borrego claims she was devastated by the treatment she received. She never went back.
Ms. Borrego is one of two plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Sacramento Superior Court against Raley’s. The suit contains allegations that the policy mentioned by Borrego’s director that Raley’s didn’t accommodate pregnant workers is unlawful. The company policy makes reasonable accommodations for workers injured on the job, but fails to provide any type of accommodation for pregnant workers.
Raley’s spokesperson responded denying the accusations and objecting the suggestion that they don’t care about all their team members, and in particular, their pregnant team members. They continued by indicating that Raley’s has been known to go above and beyond legal minimum requirements in this area. They are known as a strong, family owned business and, as such, it’s important to them that people see them as appreciative of the role women play in their workplace. They will defend themselves against the charges being brought by the plaintiffs.
Raley’s (also operating under the names Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source) operate more than 120 supermarkets in Northern California and Nevada.
The plaintiffs are seeking class action status for current/former Raley’s California employees who were denied acceptable accommodations for pregnancy related needs over the past four years.
If you are interested in discussing California laws protecting pregnant women in the workplace, please contact your southern California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.