Refusal to Hire Based on Pregnancy
Being with child is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, many employers see the woman’s pregnancy as an inconvenience, or as a reason to forgo hiring the mother despite her outstanding qualifications. Although federal and state laws make it illegal to discriminate against a female on the basis of her pregnancy, many employers still engage in wrongful acts. At Phillips & Associates, our pregnancy discrimination lawyers have helped employees throughout New York City assert their rights and seek the compensation they deserve from a discriminatory employer.State and Federal Protections for Pregnant Women in the Workplace
According to state and federal laws, a woman is not required to disclose her pregnancy to her employer unless it interferes with her ability to perform her job duties. It is only when your pregnancy prevents you from performing these duties that your employer can ask you to take a leave of absence. Although many issues arise from a woman’s pregnancy during employment, there are several instances in which a woman is not selected for a job opening due to her pregnancy. Unfortunately, many individuals believe that a pregnant woman is incapable of performing basic job duties as a result of her condition, or that pregnant women do not belong in the workplace. When it comes to hiring situations, the discrimination can be more subtle, with hiring supervisors citing discretionary personnel reasons as the basis for the decision to not hire a pregnant woman.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “ an employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for special procedures to determine an employee’s ability to work.” Additionally, employers are prohibited from refusing to hire a pregnant woman due to any “pregnancy-related condition, or because of the prejudices of co-workers, clients, or customers.” The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also provides protections for pregnant mothers seeking employment. According to the Act, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978, any discrimination based on childbirth, pregnancy, or medical conditions related to pregnancy is a form of prohibited sex discrimination. Women in these situations must be treated the same as non-pregnant employees in all employment-related matters, as long as they have a similar ability to perform their job duties.
There are other laws that protect pregnant mothers searching for work, including the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA entitles an eligible pregnant employee of an employer covered under the law to take 12 weeks off for the birth of the child. Many employers discriminate against pregnant applicants on the basis that they do not want to hire someone who will soon be on leave pursuant to the FMLA. Regardless of any inconvenience that the employer may face, however, federal and state laws make it clear that pregnant women have a right to work and that employers may not forgo hiring pregnant applicants based solely on their condition.Consult an Employment Lawyer in New York City
During your pregnancy, the last thing you want to worry about is whether you will be able to get or keep a job. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against in the hiring process or suffered a wrongful termination based on her pregnancy, the New York City attorneys at Phillips & Associates can help. Our team of experienced legal professionals can guide you through every step of the process and help take the stress out of navigating the legal system. We do not collect any fees unless we obtain a settlement or a judgment in your favor, and we offer a free consultation. Call us now at (212) 248-7431 or contact us online to set up an appointment. We represent individuals throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.