Determine If You Have the Right to Maternity Leave, No Matter What your Employer Says
Currently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has lawsuit pending against Dash Dreams Plant, Inc., for its alleged discrimination against pregnant employees. According to the case, Dash Dreams, a wholesale orchid grower and distributor based in Dos Palos, California, told its female employees not to become pregnant while they work for the company. The company’s management allegedly also told its employees that they already have too many children and that the next woman to become pregnant should consider herself fired. In the claim, the EEOC also alleges that the company refused to reinstate and rehire employees returning from maternity leave.
If these allegations are true, Dash Dreams Plant, Inc. committed pregnancy discrimination against its employees that can have a significant impact on their abilities to progress in their careers and provide for their families. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, any form of discrimination against an employee related to her pregnancy, plan to become pregnant, or childbirth is illegal. Further, all employees in the United States who meet certain requirements are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family-related health needs, including the birth of a child, under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
Who is a Covered Employee?
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees who meet all of the following criteria are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off work for the birth or adoption of a child, an illness within their immediate family, or to attend to the needs of a family member currently enlisted in the military:
- Employees of covered employers, which are all government employers, schools, and private sector employers with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or previous calendar year;
- Who have worked for their companies for at least 12 months;
- Who has worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer within the preceding 12 months; and
- Whose companies have at least 50 employees within 75 miles of their location.
Other Forms of Pregnancy Discrimination
Denial of maternity leave is not the only type of pregnancy discrimination that allegedly occurred at Dash Dreams Plant, Inc. Firing an employee for having a baby is another form a pregnancy discrimination, as are the following actions:
- Refusing to provide a pregnant employee with reasonable accommodations for her comfort;
- Asking an applicant or employee if or when she plans to have children; and
- Refusing to hire or promote an individual because she is pregnant, has a child, or plans to have a child.
Work with an Experienced New York Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
If you feel you have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination, do not simply accept your employer’s behavior and allow it to affect your career. Speak with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer to determine whether you have grounds to file a claim with the EEOC. To learn more, contact Ricotta & Marks, P.C. and call (347) 464-8694 to schedule your initial consultation in our Queens office.