Workplace Discrimination

Pregnancy Discrimination

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against workers because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. If you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace or were fired because of a pregnancy-related issue, you could be entitled to compensation.

Filippatos PLLC’s team of experienced pregnancy discrimination attorneys is ready to hear your case and find the justice you deserve.

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New York Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers

Pregnant workers are legally protected against discrimination in the workplace. Companies cannot lawfully hire, fire, discipline, demote, or deny benefits, promotions, or training opportunities to workers based on pregnancy instead of job performance and skills. There are several laws that protect pregnant workers from discrimination in the workplace or retaliation for taking paid family leave, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

In addition to the many federal laws in place, New York also has several local laws protecting against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, including the New York State Paid Family Leave Act (NYSPFL), the New York City Human Rights Law (CHRL), the New York State Disability Law, and the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). State laws extend legal protections to include independent contractors, consultants, subcontractors, vendors, and domestic workers facing pregnancy discrimination.

Fighting Against Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Pregnancy discrimination laws cover current pregnancies, as well as all past, potential, and intended pregnancies, and the medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, including breastfeeding, lactation, infertility, and abortion. An employer does not have the right to ask a job candidate or employee if they intend to become pregnant when making employment-related decisions. It is also an employer’s responsibility to ensure their workplace is free of pregnancy-related harassment in the form of jokes, slurs, offensive images, or derogatory remarks that could create a hostile work environment.

Know Your Rights to Reasonable Accommodations

In New York, employers must provide reasonable workplace accommodations allowing pregnant workers to perform their essential job duties. Reasonable accommodations may vary from job to job. This may include giving pregnant workers more bathroom or rest breaks if they must stand for long periods of time. Reasonable accommodation also includes giving workers who return to work after pregnancy adequate breaks for breastfeeding or pumping breast milk. Under federal and state laws, an employer must engage in an interactive process with their employees to determine what accommodations they find reasonable.

Know Your Rights to Paid Medical or Family Leave

Under the New York State Paid Family Leave Act, workers can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year to bond with a newborn, adopted, or foster care child. However, employees must give their employer at least 30 days’ notice before taking medical leave and submit the appropriate paperwork to their employer’s paid family leave insurance provider. You are legally entitled to take this time off without fear of retaliation or the risk of losing your job. Your employer must reinstate you to the same or a comparable position when you return to work.

Workers who find themselves temporarily disabled due to pregnancy may qualify for short-term disability leave and benefits in addition to the paid family medical leave benefits. Certain pregnancy conditions may qualify as a temporary disability, including severe morning sickness, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, hypertension, anemia, sciatica, loss or end of pregnancy, and postpartum depression.

How to File a Pregnancy Discrimination Claim

If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace due to a pregnancy, you have the right to pursue legal action.

You should consider filing a written complaint with your supervisor or human resources department and keeping a copy for your records. Document each incident thoroughly, noting the time, date, place, and any witnesses.

You may also choose to file a pregnancy claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is always best to obtain effective legal representation prior to filing a complaint with an administrative agency.

Pregnancy discrimination claims should be filed within 180 days of the illegal action, although this deadline may be extended to 300 days in some cases. Additionally, you may file a local claim with the New York State Division of Human Rights or the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

You should always speak up about discrimination or harassment in your workplace. Once you file a formal complaint, you enjoy additional legal protections against retaliation. Remember, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for filing a pregnancy discrimination claim.

Damages to Recover from Pregnancy Discrimination

If you have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, attorney’s fees, and punitive damages.

Filippatos PLLC is Dedicated to Protecting You Against Pregnancy Discrimination

If you believe you have been discriminated against at work due to a pregnancy or pregnancy-related issue, please do not hesitate to contact us. You could be entitled to compensation. We are based in New York City, but practice accross New York, including the Greater Tri-State area of New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as Florida.

At Filippatos PLLC, we believe all individuals—from factory workers to boardroom executives—are entitled to fair pay and a workplace free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Please give us a call at 888-9-JOBLAW, fill out our online form, or schedule a free Zoom consultation so we may discuss the details of your case. Our team of experienced NYC pregnancy discrimination lawyers will fight hard to secure you the dignity, respect, and justice you deserve.