University of Texas Professor Wins $3M Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

Professor Pregnancy Discrimination News

University of Texas at Austin engineering professor, Evdokia Nikolova, has been awarded $3 million by a jury for being discriminated against based on sex and pregnancy when she applied for tenure. 

Nikolova had worked for nearly five years at UT-Austin and two years at Texas A&M University, when she applied for tenure for the 2018-2019 academic year. Despite being unanimously approved for tenure by the School of Engineering, UT-Austin dean of engineering school Sharon Wood denied her tenure stating that Nikolova did not have the seven requisite years of teaching, which professors typically have when requesting tenure.

Wood argued that Nikolova was making the request too early because she had taken a “probationary extension” and ”modified instructional duty” for pregnancy and childbirth during 2015-2016 and therefore had not yet met the seven years.

Under various state laws like California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, employees cannot be punished for taking pregnancy or medical/disability leave.  

Nikolova filed the lawsuit against UT-Austin in 2019. The lawsuit showed how there continues to be discrimination against women and mothers in the workplace. Evidence showed that since Nikolova’s first university interview, nine male professors had received tenure while both women who applied for tenure during the same period were denied. The lawsuit also highlighted the importance of pointing out discrimination in influential institutions like UT-Austin, as it deters other institutions from thinking that discrimination can go unchecked.

The University denied any unfair treatment of Nikolova, but stated it will look to improve processes and implement steps to comply with the verdict.

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Shirazi Law Firm Announced as a Top Los Angeles Employment Law Firm by UpCity! 

Shirazi Law Firm is announced as Top Employment and Labor Law Firm in Los Angeles and Nationally according to upcity

Shirazi Law Firm is thrilled to officially announce that we have been recognized as one of the top employment and labor law firms in Los Angeles and nationally by UpCity! 

From wrongful termination to discrimination to harassment, we handle all types of employment law cases. We have helped past clients achieve significant results against some of the world’s biggest companies, ensuring that California’s workers are never taken advantage of. This is only one reason our Los Angeles-based firm has been recognized by UpCity as not only one of the best employment and labor law firms in Southern California but also nationally in the United States

UpCity is a resource that helps connect businesses to service providers they can trust. With more than 70,000 listed providers—from marketing agencies to accounting firms to HR consultants to IT specialists, and many more—2 million businesses (and counting) have visited UpCity to research and identify the best partner for their needs. 

Dan Olson, CEO of UpCity, had this to say about the Shirazi Law Firm team: 

“When it comes to labor and employment cases, you need the right attorney behind you. The Shirazi Law Firm has proven time and time again that they’re one of the best employment law firms in California and the country as a whole.” – Dan Olson, CEO, UpCity 

This recognition has been driven in large part by our perfect 5-star UpCity review rating Here are a few of our favorite pieces of feedback we’ve received from our amazing customers: 

· “I could not have hired a better pregnancy discrimination lawyer than Emanuel Shirazi and team. Mr. Shirazi’s skill, passion, heart, patience and tenacity led to me getting an amazing 7 figure result. If you are looking for an employment lawyer in Los Angeles or anywhere in Socal, he is your guy hands down 100%” – Julie Vas 

· “Emmanuel did an amazing job on my case! He was very involved and communicated throughout the entire process. He made sure I was comfortable with the decisions and negotiated the best results! I have already recommended two of my friends to him. You are making the right choice choosing Shirazi Law Firm!” 

We’d like to thank UpCity for recognizing us with this tremendous honor. It’s truly incredible to be amongst such incredible firms in the UpCity community.

 

Learn More About Shirazi Law Firm’s Owner and Attorney Emanuel Shirazi

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Pregnancy & Disability Leave – Case Example

Pregnancy / Disability Leave

Dalia is a young woman who had consistently performed well at her job. Dalia became pregnant and took a pregnancy leave because of her medical condition. She regularly kept in contact with her employer at all times. She provided doctor’s notes to her employer that she was disabled because she suffered from post-partum depression.

But, out of nowhere, Dalia was suddenly and callously fired the day before her one year work anniversary.  Her employer thought that by terminating her before her 1 year work anniversary, they would be home free to terminate her because California’s Family Rights Act would not apply.  But, they failed to realize that she was protected from their discrimination by other California laws, including the Fair Employment and Housing Act.  

Dalia’s employer unlawfully used her pregnancy and medical condition against her, and terminated her employment to avoid dealing with her medical and parental needs.

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated based on a protected category such as pregnancy, disability, or a medical condition, or been denied medical leave, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free confidential consultation.  

Learn more about Medical Leave / Disability Law

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Case Example: Pregnancy Leave Discrimination in Los Angeles

Today I want to talk about one of my pregnancy discrimination cases.

I once had a pregnant client who needed more than four months of leave, allowed under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law. Instead of giving her additional time for her doctor’s note, they callously fired her without warning.

This was devastating to her, and illegal.

After hiring us, she got an excellent settlement and she was very grateful. This is just one of the many types of illegal pregnancy and medical leave violations.

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6 Tips to Find the Best Employment Attorney

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Even More Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Former Fox News Chairman Alies

The nightmare for former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, is still not over. New sexual harassment accusations against Ailes have recently surfaced, nearly six months after Fox paid out $20 million to settle one sexual harassment case. Curanaj’s suit is not against Ailes or Fox News, but against the New York Fox TV Station she worked for. Curanaj is alleging gender, age, race and pregnancy discrimination.

Here is what we know about the recent complaint:

  1. Lidia Curanaj alleges that Ailes offered her an interview to join the Fox News Network after meeting in 2011. 
  2. Ailes offered Curanaj a private interview after completing her group interview. 
  3. Ailes told her to stand up and turn around for him, claiming that it was important for females in the industry to look good. 
  4. Ailes allegedly asked someone from Curanaj’s past if she “put out.” When the man told her that she probably wouldn’t, Curanaj did not get the job. 
  5. After Curanaj was denied the promotion, she complained to the station’s news director. It was then that he told her she wasn’t pretty enough to be on the air.

Though Ailes’ attorney couldn’t be reached, a spokesperson for Fox TV Stations released a statement alleging that Curanaj’s claims lack merit. More than two dozen women have come forth alleging sexual harassment against Ailes including former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

What do you think of all these allegations?

image by Marius Boatca

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Woman Claims She Was Fired Twice Because She Was Pregnant

Ashley Lucas claims that she was recently fired twice for being pregnant from her job at Service Boss, Inc. In August 2015, Lucas filed suit alleging that she was hired in February 2014 and fired in April. She was then reinstated and fired again in June. At the time of both dismissals she was pregnant, but was able to perform job duties as normal and was a reliable employee.

Lucas alleges that management had made derogatory claims about her pregnancy and was told that:

(1) her pregnancy was making her unreliable;
(2) she shouldn’t be working while she was pregnant; and
(3) that she should file for welfare!

Lucas’ lawsuit claims that Service Boss violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which includes the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). She’s seeking damages including back pay, legal fees and punitive damages and hopes to end the alleged practice of firing pregnant employees at Service Boss.

What do you think of these alleged comments to a pregnant woman in the workplace?

If you believe you have been fired or discriminated at work due to pregnancy, call Emanuel Shirazi today @ (310) 400-5891


Photo Attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kit4na/

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