Unwanted Workload Reduction due to Pregnancy
Even in the 21st century, some companies and supervisors hold the outmoded view that pregnant women should not be working. However, federal, state, and city laws give female employees the right to decide what is best for them. The pregnancy discrimination attorneys of Phillips & Associates have helped many working women expecting children in New York. If your employer has forced you to take an unwanted workload reduction because of your family situation, it may have infringed on your legal rights.Pregnant Women Must Be Treated the Same as Temporarily Disabled Workers
Federal, state, and local laws mandate that pregnant women should be treated the same as temporarily disabled employees. This does not mean that they are considered technically disabled, but only that employers must give them the same rights. For instance, if a company provides medical leave, modified schedules, or other benefits to workers with temporary disabilities, the employer must provide those benefits to pregnant women in its employment.
In addition, as long as a temporarily disabled employee can perform the basic tasks of his or her job, the employer cannot force that person to accept a reduced workload. The same goes for a pregnant employee. Women expecting children who are able to work cannot be made to take unpaid medical leave or accept a reduced workload simply because they are pregnant.
Even if someone has a pregnancy-related disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, she does not have to accept an unwanted workload reduction. Ultimately, female workers who qualify for protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) have the final say regarding when and if they take time off or work a reduced schedule. Legally, employers are not in a position to mandate when or how a woman takes leave.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is the applicable federal law in this situation. The PDA states the rule that pregnant women are to be granted the same rights as a temporarily disabled employee. There are similar provisions in the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws. Under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which requires most employers in New York City to provide pregnant women with reasonable accommodations, companies cannot force a woman to take a reduced workload when she is expecting a child.
To pursue a claim under federal law, female workers who feel that they have been treated unlawfully when pregnant must file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). An experienced attorney can help you pursue a claim and, if necessary, a lawsuit against your employer to seek compensation for the costs of the discrimination.Consult an Experienced Gender Discrimination Attorney for a New York Claim
The decision of how much you work when you are expecting a child is up to you. If you are pregnant, your employer cannot make you spend less time at the job as long as you are able to perform your main duties. The gender discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates have dedicated their careers to helping New York workers protect their rights. To schedule a free case evaluation, call (212) 901-2107 or email our office.