What Should I Do If I've Been Denied a Job Because I'm Pregnant?

If you apply for a job in you're pregnant, you are as entitled to that position as somebody who is not pregnant. If you feel you did not get a position because you're pregnant, whether it be you told the employer that you're pregnant or you're visibly pregnant. You should give us a call at Phillips & Associates and discuss it further then because there might be something for us to help out with. If you were a qualified applicant, and specifically you were told by the employer you could not do the job because you're pregnant, or you just feel you didn't get the position because you're pregnant, give us a call, and we can talk through everything then. If you're working at a job and you apply for an accommodation of some kind or you feel as since you've become pregnant that they're treating you differently that very well might be retaliation for your pregnancy, and they might be trying to get rid of you. You should feel free to give us a call at Phillips & Associates we handle these types of matters, and we can talk through everything then see if it's a potential lawsuit that we could help out with.

New York City Attorneys Skilled in Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

Pregnancy should not be a barrier to employment. When you apply for a job, the interviewer and the prospective employer should be looking at your qualifications and merit, rather than judging you based on preconceived ideas about pregnant women. If you believe that you were denied a job because you are visibly pregnant or because you told the prospective employer that you are pregnant, you should consult an attorney. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City pregnancy discrimination lawyers can talk to you about what happened to see if you may have grounds to file a lawsuit.

What Should I Do if I've Been Denied a Job Because I'm Pregnant?

There are different circumstances under which pregnancy discrimination may occur. An example of one situation is when you are specifically told by an employer that you cannot do a job because you are pregnant. Another situation in which there may be pregnancy discrimination is if you are working at a job and apply for an accommodation or believe that because you have become pregnant you are treated differently.

For example, suppose you go through multiple rounds of interviews for a high-level position at a multinational corporation. Since the job entails nighttime phone calls with employees in other countries, you mention that you are three months pregnant. They ask questions, and you say that you will still be able to do this aspect of the job because you have a night nurse lined up. Nonetheless, you are turned down for the job because they want to make sure that they hire someone “dependable.” In such a situation, there may be pregnancy discrimination.

For another example, suppose that you have worked as a server at a high-end restaurant for many years, and you become visibly pregnant. You have been promised a promotion to manager, and you ask for an accommodation in the form of rest breaks. Shortly thereafter, you find out that someone else got the manager job that you had been promised. That situation may also be pregnancy discrimination.

Pregnancy Discrimination Laws

Federal, state, and local laws prohibit employers from making employment decisions based on a prospective job applicant or existing employee's pregnancy. Employers may incorrectly believe that pregnancy immediately leads to an employee taking extended leave, which is costly. If possible, you should document any remarks or facial expressions made by the employer that suggest a discriminatory motive or bias. The documentation should state the date and time, and it should quote the prospective employer.

The federal law covering pregnancy discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Your prospective employer must have at least 15 employees to be covered by this law. In order to bring a federal pregnancy discrimination claim, you will need to first file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within a narrow window of time. However, in most cases, it is more advantageous to bring your claims under the New York City Human Rights Law. Under this law, it is unlawful for a prospective employer to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy or related medical conditions unless the accommodations would cause an undue hardship for the employer.


Under the New York City Human Rights Law, you are entitled to monetary damages for:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Back pay,
  • Front pay,
  • Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, and
  • Possibly equitable relief.

The purpose is to put you back into the position in which you would have been had you not suffered from discrimination. Unlike Title VII, the local law does not cap damages, and unlike the New York State Human Rights Law, you may recover punitive damages for the denial of a job when the circumstances are truly egregious.

Consult a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer in New York City

Pregnant women are often denied jobs and job advancement just when they most need income. It is painful and distressing to be denied an opportunity to earn money just because you have chosen to also have a family. Our experienced New York City attorneys can advise you on the protections available to you if you have been denied a job because you are pregnant. Contact us online or call us at (866) 229-9441 if you need a discrimination or retaliation lawyer. We battle employment discrimination in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and New Jersey.