Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy-Related Medical Issues in New Jersey
Pregnancy and pregnancy-related medical conditions may make it temporarily more challenging for an employee to work. For example, they may need to avoid certain hazardous work, take more frequent water breaks, or take more trips to their obstetrician. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related medical issues. Our New Jersey pregnancy discrimination lawyers are here to assist you if you have been wrongfully denied a reasonable accommodation or are being harassed or retaliated against because you needed a reasonable accommodation. If you have questions regarding an accommodation at work due to your pregnancy call our New Jersey discrimination lawyers for a free consultation at 609-436-9087.Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy-Related Medical Issues in New Jersey
The right to reasonable accommodations for your pregnancy under federal law is covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (“ADA”), and the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).
Any way in which you are impaired as a result of pregnancy or childbirth may be considered a disability (or temporary disability) that entitles you to a reasonable accommodation. The ADA expanded the scope of disability such that temporary disabling conditions or complications of pregnancy may be covered. This may, for example, include symphysis pubic dysfunction, in which the pubic bones separate so much that walking becomes unbearably painful.
Federal laws only cover larger employers (those with 15 or more employees), so for workers in smaller companies or organizations, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) as amended by the Pregnant Worker's Fairness Act may offer greater protection when asking for an accommodation.The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination Protects Pregnant Employees
The NJLAD requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related needs if you ask for the accommodation with a doctor's note. You do not need to be disabled by your pregnancy to be entitled to an accommodation. However, the New Jersey law does not necessarily entitle you to paid or unpaid leave.
Reasonable accommodations under state law may include:
- More frequent bathroom or water breaks,
- Help with manual labor,
- Job restructuring or a more flexible schedule,
- Time off to go to obstetrician's appointments,
- Transfers to less hazardous work,
- The ability to sit when the policy is that workers stand, and
- Rest breaks.
Your employer may not penalize you for asking for or using an accommodation.Will Your Accommodation Cause Undue Hardship to Your Employer?
Your employer should give you a requested accommodation unless doing so would cause an “undue hardship”. There are many factors that can go into determining whether an accommodation would generate a hardship, including the size of the employer's business, the nature of the business operations, the nature of the accommodation requested, and the extent to which providing the accommodation would require waiving an essential job requirement. For example, the more employees there are, and the greater the business' budget, the more likely it is that the employer should be able to accommodate an employee.Discuss Your Situation with a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer in New Jersey
If you are denied a reasonable accommodation for a pregnancy-related medical issue or penalized for using or asking for an accommodation at your job, you may have grounds to file claims. The New Jersey attorneys at Phillips & Associates may be able to help you recover damages. Contact us at (609) 436-9087 or through our online form to set up an appointment with an employment attorney. We help employees in Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington and Camden Counties
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