Phillips & Associates

Hostile Work Environment Based on Pregnancy

New York Hostile Work Environment Attorneys

When a woman becomes pregnant there are many things she will be looking forward to, but discrimination at work should not be one of them. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against or harass a woman because of her gender. A hostile working environment based on pregnancy is one form of prohibited gender harassment. If you believe that you are experiencing a hostile work environment because of your pregnancy, the New York pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates can help you protect your rights.

How to Recognize a Hostile Work Environment

Comments, jokes, and inappropriate questions are just a few examples of behaviors that may create a hostile work environment. In fact, any action that makes a work environment hostile, offensive, or intimidating to a reasonable person is prohibited. It does not matter whether the perpetrator is a coworker, a manager, or a third-party who is on site. Some statements that could lead to a hostile work environment are:

  • Asking when you became pregnant;
  • Questions about your birth control;
  • Inappropriate comments about your body;
  • Asking whether you are going to keep the baby; or
  • Jokes about pregnancy.

These are just examples. Any comments, whether conveyed verbally or some other way, like in an email, that make you feel uncomfortable may be a sign that you are working in a hostile environment.

Most laws require that the harassment at issue be either pervasive or severe in order to create a hostile work environment. In other words, a single instance of harassment may not rise to the level of a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment. However, a single extreme act of harassment or repeated lesser acts may qualify.

U.S. and New York Laws Protect the Rights of Pregnant Women at Work

There are federal, state, and local laws that prohibit discrimination or harassment based on gender. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the Act) is a federal law that protects workers from gender discrimination, which includes discrimination based on pregnancy. Any statements that create a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment are not allowed under the Act. Further, any actions that interfere with the woman’s ability to do her job are also prohibited. The Act applies to employers who have at least 15 employees.

New York State and City also have also passed laws that ban harassment based on gender, as well as hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environments. These laws can apply to employers with as few as four employees. If you are not sure whether your employer is subject to these laws, consult an experienced employment attorney.

If a woman makes a successful hostile work environment claim under the federal, state, or local laws, she may be entitled to compensatory damages and, in some cases, punitive damages.

Talk to an Experienced Hostile Work Environment Attorney

You do not have to put up with a hostile work environment based on pregnancy. Even if you are no longer pregnant, you may still enforce your rights. If you believe that your rights have been violated, fill out our online form or call (212) 248-7431 to speak with a New York employment discrimination lawyer at Phillips & Associates.

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

Client Reviews
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Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens. Angel
★★★★★
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
★★★★★
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