Pregnancy Discrimination in New York
Pregnancy can be a difficult time in the workplace. Employees sometimes worry about their status during and after pregnancy and want to make sure that they are secure in their employment. Both employees and employers need to understand employment laws related to pregnancy discrimination. The New York pregnancy discrimination attorneys at The Watanabe Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience providing legal assistance related to pregnancy discrimination lawsuits and claims.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
In 1978, Congress passed The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) as an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act prohibits discrimination due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition for companies with 15 or more employees. This includes state and local governments and federal agencies. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits pregnancy discrimination in the terms and conditions of employment, such as hiring, termination, job security, employee benefits, and seniority.
The PDA, however, does not require employers to provide any particular length of leave for pregnant workers. In 1993, Congress enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides for female employees working for an employer for a year or more with 12 weeks of guaranteed unpaid pregnancy leave upon the birth or adoption of a child.
New York prohibitions against pregnancy discrimination
In addition to the federal protections of the PDA and FMLA, the New York State Human Rights Law prohibits employment discrimination based on familial status. This includes pregnancy or parenthood of children under 18. Prohibited conduct includes refusing to hire, firing, withholding promotions, or offering inferior terms and conditions of employment. An employer cannot force a pregnant employee to take maternity leave unless the pregnancy actually prevents her from doing her job. The law allows women subjected to pregnancy discrimination to seek corrective action from their employers as well as monetary compensation through a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights or through an individual lawsuit.
Whether you are an employee or an employer, if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, it is important to become familiar with applicable federal and state laws to ensure all parties are compliant. If you feel that is not the case, it is important to consult our experienced New York pregnancy discrimination lawyers on the proper course of action.
Contact our attorneys today
The New York discrimination lawyers at The Watanabe Law Firm, LLC are available to discuss these matters with both employees and employers. Contact us at 212-486-7005 or email us online for pregnancy discrimination legal assistance.