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Pregnancy Discrimination

New York Attorneys Protecting Your Workplace Rights

Many women choose to grow their families while they continue to work. While pregnancy should not affect a woman’s employment or job opportunities, many women face unjust treatment in the workplace when they are expecting a child. If you were denied a job or promotion, or otherwise faced unfair treatment because of a pregnancy, you might be able to pursue a lawsuit against your employer. At Gerstman Schwartz, our dedicated New York pregnancy discrimination lawyers have ample experience helping people who suffered losses because of unfair treatment when they were pregnant. If we represent you, we will work tirelessly to help you seek any damages recoverable.

Laws Barring Pregnancy Discrimination

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant employees by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), and the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). Under each law, it is considered an unlawful discriminatory act for an employer to terminate, refuse to employ, or discriminate against an employee regarding pay or the privileges, terms, or conditions of employment on the basis of pregnancy, a pregnancy-related condition, or childbirth. Under the NYCHRL, it is also unlawful for an employer to advise a potential employee that a job is not available when it is in fact open simply because she is pregnant. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, while the NYCHRL and the NYSHRL apply to employers that have four or more employees. A pregnancy discrimination attorney in New York can help you bring a claim under the applicable laws.

Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Workers

The laws not only prohibit discrimination but also obligate employers to provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodations. Specifically, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the NYCHRL and NYSHRL, they must provide employees who have pregnancy-related conditions with modifications to the work environment or the manner in which things are normally done, as is necessary to allow the employee to perform an essential job function, apply for a job, or enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment. For example, an employer may need to allow a pregnant employee to take more breaks than usual. An employer can only deny an employee a reasonable accommodation if it would pose an undue hardship, which generally means that it would be substantially expensive or difficult.

Establishing Liability for Pregnancy Discrimination

An employee alleging pregnancy discrimination under Title VII or the NYSHRL must show that she was a member of a protected class, which includes pregnancy, and was qualified for the job in question. The employee and her New York pregnancy discrimination attorney must also prove that the employer took an adverse employment action against her, and the circumstances surrounding the action suggest that it was taken due to her pregnancy. For example, if an employer learns of an employee’s pregnancy and subsequently terminates her, it may be grounds for a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit under Title VII or the NYSHRL. Under the NYCHRL, though, an employee does not need to prove an adverse action but just that she was treated less favorably than other employees because of her pregnancy.

Employees who were denied reasonable accommodations for pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions can pursue discrimination claims as well. To set forth a viable claim, they must show that they belonged to a protected class and requested accommodations that were reasonable, but their requests were denied.

Consult a Skillful New York Attorney

If you were a victim of discrimination in the workplace because of your pregnancy, it is advisable to consult a lawyer regarding your rights. The employment discrimination attorneys at Gerstman Schwartz can assess the facts of your case and help you pursue the full amount of damages recoverable under the law. We regularly assist people in discrimination cases in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. You can contact us to schedule a consultation with a pregnancy discrimination lawyer in New York by calling our New York City office at (212) 227-7070 or our Garden City office at (516) 880-8170 or by accessing our online form.

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