Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Laws
Federal law protects pregnant employees from unlawful discrimination at work. Despite these laws, pregnancy discrimination still happens, even in New York. The New York City pregnancy discrimination attorneys of Phillips & Associates understand the rights that expectant parents have in the workplace and have helped countless clients protect those rights. If your employer has discriminated against you because you are pregnant, your employer may have violated U.S. law.Employers May Not Discriminate Against Pregnant Employees
Pregnancy discrimination can take many forms, but it is generally a form of gender discrimination. Federal law requires that employers treat pregnant individuals in the same manner as other employees or applicants who have the same abilities to work. Some signs that your employer may have engaged in unlawful pregnancy discrimination are being passed over for a promotion, fired or laid off, or overhearing comments by your employers that indicate a belief that pregnant employees do not belong in the workplace.Pregnant Employees Are Protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
In addition to New York pregnancy discrimination laws, a federal statute called the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits employer discrimination against pregnant employees. According to the PDA — an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — employers cannot make employment decisions based on an employee’s pregnancy. So long as a pregnant worker can do the primary tasks of the job, the employer must treat them as any other employee. Some decisions that are prohibited if made on the basis of an employee’s pregnancy are:
- Refusing to hire a prospective applicant;
- Firing or laying off an employee;
- Awarding promotions;
- Denying training; and
- Granting benefits to other employees.
In addition, federal law prohibits an employer from making a pregnant employee leave work prior to the birth of the child, provided that they can complete the necessary tasks of the job. And although some pregnant employees are guaranteed job-protected leave, an employer cannot force a worker to take a certain amount of leave after the birth of their child.
The PDA requires an employer to treat pregnant employees as any other temporarily disabled employee, meaning that the same leave, pay or, other job benefits available to other temporarily disabled employees must be given to pregnant employees.Victims of Unlawful Pregnancy Discrimination May Collect Damages
A pregnant worker who files a successful pregnancy discrimination complaint has a right to be put in the same position they would have been had the discrimination not occurred. This may include reinstatement of their job if they were wrongfully terminated, placement in the job they were illegally denied, or even compensatory damages for expenses and lost wages. The employee may also be entitled to punitive damages and attorneys fees. Ask a knowledgeable attorney about the damages to which you may be entitled.Protect Your Rights by Hiring Experienced Attorneys
Employers who discriminate against pregnant workers have violated their employees’ rights as well as federal law. The New York City pregnancy discrimination lawyers of Phillips & Associates have years of experience helping pregnant employees protect their rights. If your employer has violated federal pregnancy discrimination laws, call (212) 248-7431 or visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation.