Phillips & Associates

Pregnancy Discrimination

Employment Lawyers Helping Women in New York City Workplaces

Workplace pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently from other employees due to pregnancy or related conditions. If you are subjected to adverse treatment, you may have a claim for pregnancy discrimination under federal, state, or local laws. Each law applies to workplaces of different sizes, and your remedies may be different depending on which law you use to pursue damages. You may also be entitled to a reasonable accommodation for a pregnancy-related condition. It is important to consult an experienced New York City pregnancy discrimination lawyer about the viability of your claim. You also can view the video above to understand more about your options.

Pregnancy Discrimination Under Federal Law

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It covers only those employers that have at least 15 employees. If you face discriminatory or harassing treatment in the workplace because of your pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, you may have a Title VII claim. Your employer is supposed to treat you in the same way as it treats other job applicants or employees with limitations.

It is not acceptable for an employer to institute special procedures to determine your ability to work because you are pregnant. Moreover, it cannot refuse to hire you because other coworkers or customers may be biased against pregnant workers. On the other hand, when, for example, your employer requires other employees to provide a doctor's statement about their ability to work, it can require you to do the same. Title VII requires employers to treat you in the way that they would treat other temporarily disabled employees. For example, if it would allow an employee with a broken leg to take a temporary leave, it should allow you to take a temporary leave if you need it because of your pregnancy. Similarly, if it would allow an employee with a soft tissue injury to do an alternative assignment, it should also allow you to do this if you are temporarily disabled by pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition.

Conversely, you should be permitted to work as long as you are able to do your job. Your employer should not stop you from working just because you are pregnant or stop you from coming back to work for a set period after childbirth. It should hold your job open for the same amount of time as it would for an employee who was taking disability or sick leave.

Pregnancy Discrimination Under State Law

Under the New York State Human Rights Law, pregnancy discrimination is prohibited. Pregnancy discrimination involves taking any adverse measures against an employee due to the employee's pregnancy, intention to become pregnant, recent pregnancy, or recent childbirth. It can qualify as sex, familial status, or disability discrimination. Importantly, employers must give reasonable accommodations to women who need them due to pregnancy-related conditions. A denial of a reasonable accommodation for your pregnancy-related condition may constitute discrimination, and our attorneys can help employees bring this type of claim.

Pregnancy Discrimination Under City Law

Workplaces that have at least four employees are supposed to comply with the New York City Human Rights Law. Employers are supposed to post a written notice that pregnant employees are to be free from pregnancy discrimination, as well as discrimination based on pregnancy-related medical conditions and childbirth.

You can ask for an accommodation based on your pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, even if these do not disable you. Employers must provide accommodations regardless of whether other non-pregnant employees are accommodated. For example, even if your employer does not give temporary leave to employees who have pneumonia or break their legs and would not be obliged to accommodate you under federal law, it must accommodate you under the city law.

Hire an Experienced New York City Attorney for Your Discrimination Claim

Nobody should be penalized for starting a family. If you are concerned about pregnancy discrimination at your workplace, you should consult Phillips & Associates about your options. Contact Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form for a free consultation. Our employment lawyers handle pregnancy discrimination litigation in New York City, as well as in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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