Newark Pregnancy Discrimination

Employment Lawyers Helping Workers, Employees, and Residents of Newark

If you are pregnant or have a pregnancy-related condition, you may have different needs at work than you had prior to being pregnant. For example, and most common, at some point, you may not be able to lift heavy objects such as file boxes or certain merchandise or you have been advised not to do so by your physician. Also, people with a high-risk pregnancy, such as twins or triplets, may need to visit the obstetrician more often and leave work early to do so. Unfortunately, not all employers treat their pregnant workers the way they are supposed to under the Law. At Phillips & Associates, our Newark pregnancy discrimination attorneys may be able to help.

Pursuing a Pregnancy Discrimination Claim

Pregnancy discrimination may include any adverse action taken due to a worker's pregnancy. For example, it may include harassment, termination, demotion, or a failure to pay benefits. Both the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibit discriminating against an employee due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. However, there are some important differences.

The PDA amended Title VII, and it applies only to workers at companies or organizations with 15 or more employees. The PDA requires employers to treat pregnant workers as they would treat any worker who is similar in their ability or inability to work. For example, if an employer provides a worker with a broken leg a change in work assignment due to the broken leg, it would also need to provide a change in work assignment to a worker disabled by their pregnancy who requested it. Our pregnancy discrimination attorneys can help Newark residents bring claims based on a violation of the PDA.

New Jersey Laws Protect Against Pregnancy Discrimination

In contrast, under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, employers may not treat pregnant women less favorably than people who are not pregnant who have similar work abilities. They need to give reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees who request a reasonable accommodation on the advice of their doctors. These accommodations may include bathroom breaks, the right to bring a water bottle, help with strenuous physical tasks, changes in job structure, a modified work schedule, or a transfer to work that is not as hazardous.

However, as with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers do not need to provide an accommodation if it presents an undue hardship. Factors that may be considered in deciding whether a requested accommodation is an undue hardship are the cost, the nature, the type of operations, the size of the business, the availability of tax credits and tax deductions, and the extent to which a proposed accommodation would result in a waiver of a basic job requirement. Your employer may not penalize you or discriminate against you for asking for or using a pregnancy-related accommodation. For example, if you ask for a modified schedule, your employer may not demote you or fail to pay you a bonus.

Your employer also may not retaliate against you for complaining of pregnancy discrimination or assisting with a pregnancy discrimination investigation. Retaliation may be difficult to identify. Rarely does an employer simply admit that this is the motivation. However, timing may provide circumstantial evidence. For example, if you are terminated after complaining to HR about your coworkers making fun of your pregnancy, the timing might be indicative of retaliation.

Consult a Knowledgeable Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney in Newark

If you believe that you have suffered from mistreatment on the job, the Newark 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 through our online form for a free appointment. Our employment lawyers help people in Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington and Camden Counties.

Managing Partner in New Jersey - Bryan Arce