In New York, federal, state, and city laws protect employees from pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. At the federal level, pregnant women are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination. New York state and city human rights laws also prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee because of her pregnancy.
Employers may not discriminate against or harass an employee because she is pregnant or has a pregnancy-related health condition. Examples of pregnancy discrimination include refusing to hire an applicant because she is pregnant, making derogatory comments about an employee being pregnant, or evaluating the job performance of pregnant employees more harshly than that of non-pregnant employees.Pregnancy and Maternity Leave
When an employee becomes pregnant, an employer must treat it as a temporary disability and treat the pregnant employee the same as any other worker with a temporary disability. This means that, if other employees are allowed to change tasks or duties to accommodate a temporary disability, the same opportunity must be afforded to pregnant women. Employers must also allow pregnant employees to continue working, so long as they are capable of performing their job duties.
Similarly, if a woman takes time off to have her child or to treat a pregnancy-related health condition, the employer must hold the position open for the same amount of time as for any other employee who has taken short-term disability leave. Parental leave practices vary from employer to employer and should be consulted before taking any leave.
If your employer has discriminated against you because you are pregnant, contact The Harman Firm, LLP. The experienced team of employment lawyers at The Harman Firm offers supportive counsel to the victims of pregnancy discrimination.