Can You Sue for Pregnancy Discrimination?

Can You Sue for Pregnancy Discrimination in New York?

You can sue for pregnancy discrimination if you face an adverse employment action due to your pregnancy, childbirth, or associated medical condition. Adverse employment actions can include failure to hire, termination, failure to promote, demotion, layoffs, or harassment. Federal, state and local laws prohibit pregnancy discrimination in New York City workplaces. The protection the different laws provide is slightly different due to the wording of the statutes and case law interpreting them. The state and city laws require your employer to provide reasonable accommodations. You might have a pregnancy discrimination claim if your employer denied you a reasonable accommodation to which you were entitled, even though it would have posed no undue hardship. Our seasoned New York City pregnancy discrimination lawyers may be able to represent you if you are facing pregnancy discrimination. You should give our firm a call for a free consultation.

At Phillips & Associates, we provide aggressive representation to pregnant workers who have been terminated, demoted, or passed over for promotion because they were expecting a child. While no attorney can guarantee you will win after suing for pregnancy discrimination, our firm has:

  • Prior wins
  • Talented trial lawyers
  • Years of experience evaluating cases to determine whether there is liability and the likely worth of the case.

Your employer’s defense team will understand we’re willing to take your case to trial if they don’t value the case properly.

Suing for Pregnancy Discrimination Under State and Local Laws

Depending on the situation, you may be able to sue for pregnancy discrimination under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL).

It may be easier to sue and recover damages for pregnancy discrimination under state or local laws. The state law, for instance, protects you against pregnancy discrimination, if your employer has 4 or more employees (federal law requires 15 employees.) Importantly, it also protects independent contractors in the state, not just employees, against pregnancy discrimination.

You may have a claim under state law if, for example:

  • You were terminated because you disclosed you were pregnant.
  • You were passed over for a promotion because you asked for a reasonable accommodation in the form of a rest break to take insulin for your gestational diabetes, and it wouldn’t have been hard for your employer to provide.
  • You’re a freelancer who asked for a reasonable accommodation in connection with your disabling pubic symphysis.
  • You are a subcontractor, and your services were discontinued after you tried to alert the company that hired you that you would be unavailable for a few days for childbirth.

Widely considered one of the strongest anti-discrimination and civil rights laws in the country, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) has been favorable for pregnant workers who face adverse treatment in the workplace. You might be able to recover damages if you faced an adverse employment action while working for an employer that has at least four employees. For instance, you may be able to sue for damages if:

  • You were an office worker who was terminated because you needed a reasonable accommodation to work remotely for a month due to severe hyperemesis gravidarum.
  • You were denied a job you were told you were the leading candidate for after disclosing you were a few months pregnant.
  • Although you had solid performance reviews and were highly qualified, you were passed over for a scheduled promotion the week after you disclosed your due date and that you’d need a few days off to deliver your baby.

Sue for Pregnancy Discrimination Under Federal Law

The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination in workplaces with at least 15 employees, and you will need to file a charge before pursuing damages in court. Damages are capped under this law. You may be able to obtain a reasonable accommodation under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is the federal law that amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, you can only get a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy under federal law if your employer provides these accommodations to workers who are temporarily disabled for other reasons. Additionally, it only applies to those companies that have at least 15 employees. Our lawyers can also look at whether you were entitled to disability leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act due to a disabling pregnancy or childbirth-related condition.

Sue for Pregnancy Discrimination Related to Taking Leave

There are several laws under which you may be eligible for leave based on your pregnancy, childbirth, pregnancy-related medical condition, or need to bond with your child. You should be aware that you may be eligible to take both your employer’s paid leave, as well as leave under the New York law. Your employer shouldn’t interfere with your right to take the leave; it should not discriminate or retaliate against you because you asked for the Paid Family Leave.

Retain Us to Sue for Pregnancy Discrimination

Suing for pregnancy discrimination can be difficult because your employer is unlikely to admit that this is the reason you’re being mistreated on the job. However, having a knowledgeable aggressive legal team that sees beyond your employer’s pretextual reasons for acting as it did can make a huge difference to your case. If you’re wondering whether you can sue for pregnancy discrimination in New York City, you should call our seasoned employment discrimination attorneys. Phillips & Associates is a plaintiff’s firm fighting for disabled workers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, Nassau County, or Suffolk County. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form for a free consultation.

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