Pregnancy Discrimination FAQs
- Can my boss fire me because I am pregnant?
NO. Federal law prohibits your employer from firing you (or laying you off) because you are pregnant. It is also against the law for your employer to use your pregnancy as a reason to bypass you for a promotion, salary increase, bonus, or other employment-related perks that are offered to your non-pregnant co-workers.
- What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a pregnant worker unfavorably or in a prejudicial manner due to her pregnancy or due to medical conditions related to her pregnancy.
- What are examples of Pregnancy Discrimination?
There are several examples of pregnancy discrimination including:
- An employer's refusal to hire a pregnant worker
- Firing/demoting/refusing to promote a pregnant worker
- Decreasing the pregnant worker's hours/assignments
- Inappropriate conduct/severe discipline arising in response to requests for leave for pregnancy-related medical appointments
- What if my boss makes comments about my pregnancy?
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, your boss is prohibited from making inappropriate or unwanted comments about your pregnancy. If you feel that your boss is engaging in inappropriate behavior, contact our office to discuss your legal rights and remedies with one of our skilled New York pregnancy discrimination attorneys.
- What does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act say?
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act outlines the protections afforded to pregnant women in the workplace. In general, the Act references hiring practices, pregnancy/maternity leave, health insurance, and employment-based fringe benefits.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits an employer from refusing to hire a pregnant woman due to her pregnancy, her pregnancy-related medical conditions, or due to the prejudices of the employer's other employees or customers. This means that if you are qualified for a job position and the employer does not offer you the job because of your pregnancy, you may have experienced pregnancy discrimination.
Pregnancy and Maternity Leave
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires that employers treat maternity leave and pregnancy-related medical leave in the exact same manner as they treat other medical conditions. An employer cannot impose heightened or special requirements on pregnant employees who must schedule time off for medical appointments.
Additionally, employers must allow pregnant employees to perform their job duties as long as they are able to during their pregnancy. Employers cannot require pregnant employees to leave work at a certain point in their pregnancy, nor can they require pregnant workers to remain out of the office for a specific period of time.
If an employer provides any health insurance to its employees, that health insurance must cover expenses for pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions on the same basis as other medical conditions. Moreover, pregnancy-related expenses must be reimbursed in exactly the same way as those incurred for other medical conditions, and the employer cannot impose an additional or larger deductible for pregnancy-related costs.
If an employer provides fringe benefits to workers on leave (such as telecommuting during a portion of the leave), the employer must also offer these same benefits to workers on pregnancy or maternity leave. Additionally, pregnant workers on leave must be treated the same as other workers in terms of vacation calculations and pay increases.
Importantly, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act also establishes that these pregnancy-related benefits cannot be limited to married employees, but must be available to all female workers.
- As a pregnant employee, what rights do I have in my workplace?
As a pregnant employee, you have the right to be treated exactly the same as all other employees. You have the right to take leave from your employment for your childbirth and subsequent maternity leave. You also have the right to take time off from work during your pregnancy should your medical needs require you to do so.
Additionally, you cannot be passed over for promotions or pay raises and bonuses on account of your pregnancy.
- Are there pregnancy-related benefits my employer must provide?
The most important pregnancy-related benefit that your employer must provide is health insurance. If your employer offers health insurance, the insurance must cover expenses for pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions.
Additionally, if your employer offers fringe benefits, you are entitled to those benefits in the same manner as your non-pregnant co-workers.
- How can an attorney help me if I think I am a victim of Pregnancy Discrimination?
As a pregnant woman, you have the right to be treated fairly by your employer. Our experienced employment discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates can help you understand your rights and identify your legal options. If you think you are, or have been, the victim of pregnancy discrimination, contact our office today to speak to a member of our staff about your potential case. You can call us at (212) 248-7431, or contact us online for your confidential consultation.
- What are the possible outcomes of filing a lawsuit on the basis of Pregnancy Discrimination?
While every pregnancy discrimination case and its outcome is unique, filing a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit may result in one or more of the following:
- Your employer rehires you
- You receive compensation in the form of monetary damages and back pay
- Your employer promotes you (if you were passed over for a promotion due to your pregnancy)
- An employer hires you (if you were denied the job due to your pregnancy)
If you have additional questions about whether you have been subject to pregnancy discrimination, or what your right are, please do not hesitate to contact the New York pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates. Our attorneys handle pregnancy discrimination cases in the New York City area. Free consultation is and there is no fee unless we recover. Call and speak with our pregnancy discrimination attorneys at (212) 248-7431.
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New York, NY 10006