Long Island Pregnancy Discrimination

Employment Attorneys Representing Workers on Long Island

Long Island has a number of scientific research and engineering employers. Some of these include OSI Pharmaceuticals, Cablevision, Research Frontiers, and Standard Microsystems. However, even in technologically advanced industries, employers sometimes have outdated ideas about what pregnant women can and cannot do, or what they should do after getting pregnant. Pregnancy discrimination is prohibited in New York. This type of discrimination occurs when a woman who is expecting a child is treated adversely in employment because of their pregnancy or their intention to get pregnant. At Phillips & Associates, our Long Island pregnancy discrimination lawyers are committed to helping working women who were subjected to discrimination or harassed because of their pregnancies obtain relief through lawsuits. We offer free consultations and no upfront fees. Call and speak to one of our employment attorneys today at (516) 365-3731.

Pregnancy Discrimination Takes Many Forms

From the start of the hiring process, pregnant women on Long Island have protection under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the New York State Human Rights Law. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discriminating based on pregnancy with regard to any employment decision, including firing, hiring, pay, job assignments, promotions, training, bonuses, fringe benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. Some women are not hired due to their pregnancy. Others are fired shortly after they tell their employer they are pregnant. Additionally, some women are fired shortly after returning from pregnancy related leave. If you suspect you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace our employment attorneys may be able to help.

Under federal law, if you are not able to work due to a medical condition arising from pregnancy or childbirth, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, your employer is supposed to treat you in the same way that it would treat other employees with temporary disabilities like a broken bone or soft tissue injuries. This might mean that your employer must reassign you to less strenuous work or provide unpaid leave if it would do that for workers with temporary disabilities. An employer covered by federal law that does not provide any of these things to workers who are temporarily disabled may not need to provide them for a pregnant worker either. A pregnancy discrimination attorney can explain to Long Island residents which accommodations they may be able to obtain.

One form of discrimination is harassment. It is illegal for an employer to permit harassment of an employee because she is pregnant, is going through childbirth, or has a related medical condition. A harasser may be a supervisor or manager, in which case the harassment is imputed to the employer. However, it can also be a coworker or customer, and in that case, culpability depends in part on whether the employer knew and took reasonable steps to correct it. If harassment based on pregnancy is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment or results in the worker facing a negative employment decision, such as being terminated, it is actionable. Some women experience a hostile work environment due to their pregnancy. They experience negative comments about their body, questions about who the father is or their ability to continue working while raising a child. These comments can be illegal and show a discriminatory animus toward pregnant women. Our pregnancy discrimination attorney may be able help you understand your rights and fight back.

Reasonable Accommodations and Related Protections

A pregnancy-related condition may be considered a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act. In that case, the employer will need to give you a reasonable accommodation that allows you to perform your job, unless it would present an undue hardship.

Pregnant employees may also have protection under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), if their employers and they are covered. A new parent who is covered may be eligible for 12 weeks of leave to care for a new child if she works for an employer who is covered. Employers must have 50 or more employees to be covered by the FMLA. Employers are not supposed to discriminate against covered employees for taking FMLA leave, and a Long Island pregnancy discrimination attorney can help you hold your employer accountable if it does.

The New York State Human Rights Law also provides protection from pregnancy discrimination, and it provides protection to smaller employers that have at least four employees. Employers on Long Island cannot require you to take time off or take a leave of absence except when your pregnancy makes it so that you cannot reasonably perform your job duties. You cannot be terminated or demoted or otherwise subjected to adverse employment actions due to your pregnancy.

Additionally, employers in the state are supposed to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. If you ask for an accommodation, the employer should engage in a discussion to evaluate your request and determine whether it is feasible to provide it.

Consult a Knowledgeable Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer on Long Island

At Phillips & Associates, we can take action against many forms of employer misconduct and may be able to help you recover damages if you have been mistreated at work. Contact our pregnancy discrimination attorneys today at (516) 365-3731 or through our online form.

1129 Northern Boulevard, 4th Floor,
Manhasset, NY 11030
Tel: 516-365-3731
Fax: 212-901-2107

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