Phillips & Associates

Derogatory Comments About Pregnant Workers

Legal Guidance for New York Employees Affected by Discrimination

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time in a woman's life, but it can also create some challenging situations in the workplace. Some employers make derogatory comments about pregnant workers. These comments can trigger adverse professional consequences and extreme psychological distress. An experienced employment discrimination attorney at Phillips & Associates can help you pursue damages for harm caused as a result of derogatory comments, harassment, and other adverse actions.

Some common derogatory comments associated with pregnancy may include complaining about the amount of weight you've gained during pregnancy, making negative comments about you for taking leave based on pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, or making negative comments about your need to breastfeed, stay off your feet, or take a lighter workload.

Take Action Against Derogatory Comments

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in order to expressly prohibit pregnancy discrimination. Employers that have at least 15 employees are not allowed to discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of pregnancy or childbirth. This means employers cannot take any actions with regard to employment, such as demoting, transferring, or changing the pay of a worker, on the basis of her pregnancy. They also cannot harass the worker.

New York state and city laws offer protection to pregnant employees who work for smaller businesses. For example, the New York City Council enacted the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which makes sure that pregnant workers are protected against discrimination so they can work through their pregnancies. The bill expands the city’s Human Rights Law, which applies to workplaces with four or more employees.

Derogatory comments in the workplace based on pregnancy, a pregnancy-related condition, or childbirth may be considered unlawful harassment. In order to be considered illegal, the harassing conduct must be so frequent or severe it creates a hostile work environment or causes an employer to make an adverse employment decision.

When a coworker, a supervisor, or a client or customer of an employer makes derogatory comments, you should ask the person to stop and state that this conduct is unwelcome. You should also use any complaint procedure, such as making a report to HR, that your employer has in place to address the situation. If your employer is large enough to be covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, you can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This claim must be filed within 180 days of the harassment. If your employer is smaller, you can exercise your rights under state and local laws.

Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for telling HR about the derogatory comments or filing a formal complaint with the EEOC, and your employer is not allowed to terminate you for these reasons. Sometimes, in more ambiguous cases, however, it may be appropriate to consult an employment discrimination attorney before filing the grievance in order to understand this area of law better. It is important to retain an attorney before filing a complaint.

Consult a New York Attorney for Your Employment Law Issues

You do not need to endure derogatory comments that constitute pregnancy discrimination or harassment in a New York workplace. The lawyers at Phillips & Associates are aggressive, experienced advocates for those who have been subject to derogatory comments and other forms of harassment. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form.

PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
45 Broadway #430,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107

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Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens. Angel
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Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone. Margaret
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I called at Phillips & Associates seeking for a consultation and I was very pleased with the conversation I had with Eugenio Benvenuto. He was able to answer my questions thoroughly and gave me reassurance. I highly recommend their practice. Giulia
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Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
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Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen