Starting a Family and Working – It Can Be Done!
For women and couples who are hoping to have children and start a family, how their employer might react to the decision could be intimidating. In fact, men and women alike may have fears about unpaid leave, or even termination, as a result of their decision to have children. The following considers labor laws regarding pregnancy, maternity leave, and paternity leave in NYC and the U.S.:
Pregnancy Discrimination Laws
For women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant, it is important to understand what federal pregnancy anti-discrimination laws are in existence. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is against the law to discriminate against a pregnant woman when it comes to any aspect of employment, including:
- Promotions; and
- Paid leave and health insurance.
Because pregnant women are obviously incapable of performing certain tasks to protect their safety and the safety of their child, women who are pregnant and cannot do certain things must be treated in the same manner as an employee with a temporary disability would be, which means providing reasonable accommodations or leave, or temporarily reassigning the worker to light-duty or desk work.
Taking Time Off or Work to Have a Family
Depending upon where you work, you may also be entitled to take paid maternity leave following the birth of your child. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that employers with 50 or more employees provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to workers who need to care for a new child. However, many companies offer paid maternity leave, and paternity leave is also becoming a popular benefit.
After maternity leave, you may also need to take time off to care for a sick child. The FMLA also requires employers to provide unpaid leave for those who need to care for a sick family member.
Having a Child and Working – It Is Possible
It is possible to start a family and keep working. In addition to federal protections, some tips for managing child rearing and a successful career include:
- Finding the right childcare – Consider developing a schedule with your partner where you share childcare watching duties and both work part-time, hire a great nanny, or enroll your child is a trustworthy daycare.
- Travel on the weekends – Family trips will certainly become part of life once you have kids. Plan to travel on the weekend and holidays, and make sure you inform your boss in advance.
- Talk to your boss – Having kids can be time consuming and stressful. Rather than showing up to work late every day because you need to drop your kid off at a certain time, talk to your boss about how you can create a schedule that works for everyone. Many employers understand the challenges of having children and will work with their employees.
Contact Our Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer, NYC
If you have been discriminated against for your pregnancy, you should contact our pregnancy discrimination lawyer NYC immediate for a free consultation. We will help you to understand your rights under the law!