Jersey City Pregnancy Discrimination

Employment Lawyers Helping Jersey City Workers, Employees and Residents

In many cases, workers are affected by their pregnancies. They may need to avoid certain hazardous work, take more frequent water breaks, or take more trips to their obstetrician. Under both federal and New Jersey laws, employers are not permitted to engage in pregnancy discrimination. At Phillips & Associates, our Jersey City pregnancy discrimination attorneys may be able to help you seek damages if you have been harmed by misconduct in the workplace.

Assert Your Rights Under Federal and State Laws

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is the federal law that provides protection to pregnant employees. It amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making it illegal for employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. In other words, if you are a woman who is affected by your pregnancy, and your employer is covered by this law, you are to be treated the same way as other applicants or employees who are similar in their inability or ability to work.

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) law provides even greater protections to pregnant employees or employees who are affected by their pregnancy, regardless of whether or not they are disabled by the pregnancy. In fact, employers in New Jersey are obligated to provide requested accommodations to pregnant employees under the New Jersey Pregnant Worker's Fairness Act (PWFA), which amends the NJLAD. The PWFA covers all employers in New Jersey, regardless of their size, other than federal employers.

This law goes further than the federal PDA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) do in protecting pregnant workers. While the PDA and the ADA require employers to treat pregnant employees the same as they would other workers who have short-term disabilities, New Jersey requires employers to go further. There is no minimum employee requirement, and the law allows you to sue an employer for pregnancy discrimination. Employers may be held liable if they treat a female employee whom they know, or should have known, is affected by pregnancy in any way, less favorably than a similarly situated worker who is not pregnant. Our pregnancy discrimination lawyers can help Jersey City residents and employees bring a claim on this basis.

Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Women

More importantly, you do not need to be disabled by pregnancy in order to be protected for the purpose of asking for an accommodation. You may ask for an accommodation for pregnancy-related needs based on a doctor's advice. The accommodation may be one that removes an obstacle to job performance or provides adjustments based on need physical needs. This may include bathroom breaks, a modified work schedule, restructuring, and temporary transfers to less hazardous work. The law does not include any requirement that you get leave, paid or unpaid.

Employers are allowed to deny requests for accommodation that impose an undue burden. While there is no explicit requirement that the employer engage in an interactive process when determining whether to grant an accommodation for pregnancy, courts in New Jersey have previously imposed this requirement, borrowed from federal law.

Explore Your Options with a Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney in Jersey City

Jersey City is located in Hudson County, New Jersey. It is the second-most populous city in the state. If you believe that you have suffered from inappropriate treatment by your employer, the Jersey City pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates may be able to counsel you and represent you in a lawsuit for damages. Contact us at (609) 436-9087 or via our online form to set up a free appointment. Our employment lawyers help people in communities, such as Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington and Camden Counties.

Managing Partner in New Jersey - Bryan Arce