Having a child is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life. Having to deal with pregnancy discrimination can be devastating. When looking to prove a pregnancy discrimination case, we often look at the timing of the adverse action, whether the adverse action was a termination, a demotion, or a failure to hire. Did the adverse action take place shortly after you announced your pregnancy? Did the adverse action take place right when you started to show? Or did the adverse action take place when you returned to work after maternity leave? These are all factors that can lead to an inference of discrimination.
Some women are terminated shortly after requesting a reasonable accommodation due to a pregnancy related complication. This too can show an inference of discrimination. Comments can also help prove a pregnancy discrimination case – comments related to being a working mother, comments related to child care, or an overt comment such as "you would have had the job if you weren't pregnant." If you feel you're being treated differently because of your pregnancy, call Phillips & Associates.
New York City Lawyers Experienced in Pregnancy Discrimination Claims
Pregnancy discrimination is considered sex discrimination, which is prohibited when it occurs in the workplace. It happens when a job applicant or employee is treated adversely by an employer based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. For example, it is illegal for a prospective employer to refuse to hire you because you are pregnant. If you are wondering how to prove a pregnancy discrimination case, you should consult the New York City pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates. Keep reading and watch the video on this page to find out more about these cases.
How to Prove a Pregnancy Discrimination Case
Pregnancy discrimination is illegal under federal, state, and local laws. These laws prevent employers from treating pregnant workers differently or worse than they would treat other employees. In order to establish a pregnancy discrimination case, you will need to show that you were treated worse than other similarly situated employees, based on your pregnancy, pregnancy-related condition, or childbirth.
On occasion, an employer will admit that it acted with discriminatory intent by saying that your pregnancy was why you were terminated, fired, or not promoted. For example, if you were not chosen to be promoted even though you were qualified, and your manager said that he was worried that you would take too much time off because you are having a baby, this would be an admission.
However, more often, a corporate employer has had enough legal advice not to admit that pregnancy was a factor in an adverse decision taken against you. The employer may even invent a reason to take the action against you, such as performance problems. There may still be sufficient circumstantial evidence that would allow the jury to infer discrimination.
You will still need to show that more likely than not, pregnancy discrimination was the reason for the adverse action. This may include proof that your employer started treating you differently just after finding out that you were pregnant, failed to follow its usual practices, or took actions that did not make sense from a business perspective. Sometimes it may be possible to prove that other employees who were pregnant were also treated worse than employees who were not.
Suspicious timing is one of the strongest pieces of circumstantial evidence. For example, if you were terminated just before starting an authorized pregnancy leave, this is odd timing that may give rise to an inference that you were subjected to discrimination or retaliation. Similarly, if you are not chosen for a promotion that you were promised just after you start to show your pregnancy, this might be suspicious timing that provides circumstantial evidence to support your claim. Some women are terminated shortly after returning from maternity leave. All of a sudden they become terrible employees.
Sometimes management gives false reasons for taking an adverse action against a pregnant worker, and proving their falsity may provide support for your claim. For example, if you are told that you were not given a promotion because the management wanted someone with specific programming skills, but the person who is hired does not actually have those skills, this may constitute circumstantial evidence of discrimination.
Explore Your Options with a Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney in New York City
If you are concerned about how to prove a pregnancy discrimination case, you should consult a sexual harassment attorney about your situation. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City pregnancy discrimination lawyers can evaluate your situation and provide vigorous legal representation. Contact us at (866) 530-4330 or use our online form to schedule a free appointment. We fight discrimination throughout Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, Westchester, as well as Suffolk and Nassau Counties.