Proving Pregnancy Discrimination
A pregnancy is often one of the most exciting and memorable times in a woman’s life. Whether it is her first pregnancy, or one of many, it is essential to ensure that the woman stays healthy throughout the duration of her pregnancy and during the infancy of the child. While these priorities are challenging enough, many women also face added pressures from their employers over their pregnancies. Whether it is based on antiquated beliefs regarding a woman’s ability to work while pregnancy, or based on the inconvenience that the employer faces, this conduct is unlawful. At Phillips & Associates, our pregnancy discrimination lawyers have provided experienced legal counsel to New York City residents who have been treated improperly by their employers. If you believe you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination you should seek the guidance of an employment attorney.Establishing the Elements of a Pregnancy Discrimination Case
In general, pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a pregnant applicant or pregnant employee differently than other employees based on her pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Pregnancy discrimination can take many forms, including refusing to hire a woman because she is pregnant. Other employers use arbitrary personnel reasons to terminate pregnant mothers, reduce their pay, or provide them with less work than normal. In many situations, pregnancy discrimination also constitutes gender discrimination, in which employers unlawfully discriminate against employees based on their gender.Direct Evidence of Pregnancy Discrimination
The simplest way to prove pregnancy discrimination is through direct evidence, which typically occurs when an employer openly admits to having discriminatory motives behind his or her actions and statements. For example, if an employer says, “I would like to give you this promotion, but you won’t be able to travel once you have your baby,” the employer’s statement constitutes direct evidence of pregnancy discrimination. Many employers are aware of pregnancy discrimination laws and refrain from making such blatant statements.Circumstantial Evidence of Pregnancy Discrimination
Fortunately, pregnant woman may also offer circumstantial evidence to establish an employer’s discriminatory intent. To establish discrimination based on circumstantial evidence, you must show that it is more likely than not that your employer had a discriminatory intent. Examples of circumstantial evidence include situations in which an employer deviated from standard practices and policies, made decisions that do not make good business sense, or arbitrarily changed company policy. If the employer cannot provide a legitimate explanation for the action, circumstantial evidence could create a strong inference that the employer acted with discriminatory intent. Other situations in which an employee from the same company has experienced pregnancy-related discrimination are also helpful.
One of the most critical aspects of proving pregnancy discrimination is timing. Although women have no legal obligation to inform their employer about their pregnancy unless the pregnancy interferes with their job duties, the pregnancy typically becomes apparent during the second and third trimesters. Showing that a discriminatory act occurred at the same time or in close proximity to when the pregnancy becomes apparent or the woman announces the pregnancy can create a strong inference that discriminatory intent was behind the act. An employment attorney can assist you if you have been a victim of discrimination.Seek Legal Guidance for a Pregnancy Discrimination Claim in New York City
If you believe you have been the victim of discriminatory conduct based on your pregnancy, such as a demotion or a wrongful termination, the New York City attorneys at Phillips & Associates can help. Our team of experienced legal professionals can provide you with compassionate and experienced legal counsel along every step of the way and help you gather the evidence you need to build your case. We offer a free consultation, and we do not collect any fees unless we obtain a settlement or a judgment in your favor. Call us now at 1-212-248-7431 or contact us online to set up your appointment. We have represented employees throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.
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