Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers
Pregnancy should never be overshadowed by the fear of harassment or discrimination in the workplace. But unfortunately, this happens in many workplaces across New York and the country. If you or a loved one has experienced this kind of treatment in the workplace, you may want to speak with experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyers.
What Is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination is when a pregnant individual, usually a job applicant or employee, is mistreated because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a pregnancy-related medical condition. This type of discrimination is illegal at the city, state, and federal levels of government.
Pregnancy Discrimination Case Illustration
Pregnancy discrimination lawsuits are not uncommon in the United States. According to research by Bloomberg Law, in 2020, there were almost 400 federal cases filed for pregnancy discrimination.
Here are some notable pregnancy discrimination lawsuits in recent years:
- A former Pittsburg school teacher filed a lawsuit against Pittsburg Community Schools USD 250 for allegedly discriminating against her based on her pregnancy.
- Buffalo Wild Wings recently agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a pregnant server alleging discrimination based on pregnancy. The plaintiff claimed that the California-based restaurant failed to accommodate her disability.
The list of pregnancy discrimination incidents in various workplaces across the country goes on and on.
Worker Rights and Protections Against Pregnancy Discrimination
Many laws protect pregnant workers before, during, and after pregnancy at the state and federal levels.
Pregnant individuals have a right to be free from discrimination when employers make employment decisions.
In addition, during pregnancy, employees have the right to request reasonable workplace accommodations if medically necessary. Some examples of reasonable accommodations an employer can provide to a pregnant employee include:
- Reducing their tasks or work hours
- Providing more bathroom breaks
- Allowing periodic rest, especially for workers who stand long hours
- Assisting with manual labor
- Offering a leave of absence
When the child is born, the mother has the right to take leave from work to recover from childbirth. They can also take leave from work to bond with a new baby. During that time, the employer cannot deny such an employee their right to pregnancy-related benefits or other benefits they may be eligible for.
Do I Have a Pregnancy Discrimination Case Against My Employer?
It is always advisable to speak with experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyers for a case evaluation whenever you’re unsure whether you have a discrimination case against your employer. At Ricotta & Marks, we offer a free, confidential case evaluation for individuals who have experienced discrimination in the workplace.
Generally, you may have a pregnancy discrimination case against your employer if:
- Your employer refuses to promote you as earlier planned when they find out that you’re pregnant. Instead, they choose to promote someone else.
- A recruiter complains about how it is stressful to manage a workforce consisting of pregnant individuals because it creates a ‘scheduling nightmare.’ If the recruiter refuses to hire you after finding out that you’re pregnant, this could be a case of pregnancy discrimination.
- Your employer excludes you from new training after finding out that you are pregnant. If you did not request the exclusion and if you would have been allowed to attend the training had it not been for the pregnancy, you may be able to file a discrimination lawsuit against your employer.
- Your employer fires you because you are pregnant and will need more bathroom breaks than anyone else in the workforce.
How to Prove Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace
Here are some essential tips to help you prove pregnancy discrimination in the workplace:
Identify the discriminatory act and document it in detail. For example, if the employer blames your performance as the reason for terminating your contract with the company, make sure you document this reason. The same applies if they make any comments that suggest your pregnancy is a burden to the company.
When documenting the discrimination incident, it’s always important to remember the date, time, and location of the incident. This information adds more weight to your claim. Besides, the jury will most likely believe your version of events if it is more detailed, leaving no room for doubt.
Remember to keep working on your daily duties and responsibilities as per your terms of employment. Even if your employer speaks to you rudely, stay calm, document the incident, and focus on your work.
When some employers realize that you might have a pregnancy discrimination case against them, they’ll try to come up with excuses to justify their actions. For example, they could claim that you abandoned your responsibilities, and that’s why they decided to terminate your contract. Of course, this won’t be true, but you do not expect them to be truthful if they discriminate against you when you’re pregnant.
Pregnancy Discrimination Claims Process Explained
If you live and work in New York City, you can file a pregnancy discrimination claim with the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
There are also other filing options:
- The New York State Division of Human Rights, if you want to file with a state agency
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, if you want to file with a federal agency
Although these three agencies mostly share the same policies, some may be slightly different. When a claim is filed with the New York City Commission on Human Rights or the New York State Division of Human Rights, it can be cross-filed with the EEOC if applicable.
The best option is to contact an employment law firm in New York that offers some of the best and most experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyers in the city. But how do you find the right attorney or employment law firm to handle your claim? That brings us to the next question.
How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
Consider the following tips when looking for the best pregnancy discrimination lawyers in New York City:
How experienced are they? How long have they been practicing employment law in New York? Do they have anything to prove their experience? Working with experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyers significantly increases your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. They are usually familiar with such cases, including an employee’s rights as provided by the city, state, and federal laws.
It’s always advisable to opt for law firms or attorneys specializing in employment law in New York City. For instance, Ricotta & Marks P.C. specializes in employment law, meaning you have a higher chance of obtaining a favorable outcome when you work with them than when you choose a law firm that specializes in different areas of law.
How well does the attorney or law firm communicate with you? Pay special attention to how they respond to your phone calls or emails. Do they sound knowledgeable? Are they overpromising?
What does the attorney think about your case? It is best to work with an honest attorney, even if they tell you things you do not want to hear. The truth is, not every incident that happens in the workplace is considered discrimination. At the same time, many people fail to hold the other party accountable for their actions because they don’t know whether their case qualifies as discrimination. Hiring an honest attorney means you will always get the truth and nothing less.
This is the whole point of having a case evaluation before pursuing a claim or lawsuit. A good employment lawyer will be honest with you about your case.
How R&M Can Help With Your Pregnancy Discrimination Case
At R&M, we have been practicing employment law in New York City for more than 30 years. So you can always count on us when you need someone understanding, truthful, and professional to review your case and advise accordingly. We serve clients in Queens, Long Island City, Carle Place, Astoria, Bronx, Flushing, Jamaica, NY, Great Neck, Brooklyn, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and the surrounding areas.
Contact us today at 347-960-4383 for a free case evaluation, or send us a message online, and we will get in touch within 24 hours!