Pregnancy & Nursing Discrimination

Attorneys Help Women Recover Compensation for Workplace Discrimination

Employment discrimination lawyers, like the ones at Leeds Brown Law, P.C., help workers in New York City and on Long Island, understand their rights and pursue legal recourse when their employers treat them in an unlawful manner. We represent clients in most job discrimination cases but have a unique understanding of the various ways that women, in particular, can become victims of workplace misconduct.

If you have experienced discrimination in your workplace because of your gender, pregnancy, because you have children or are nursing a child, consider speaking with someone at Leeds Brown to find out if you have the right to file a claim against your employer.

Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace is Unlawful

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) are the federal and state laws that make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a woman because she is pregnant. Pregnancy discrimination may also be a form of gender discrimination, disability discrimination or familial status discrimination and at times they overlap. As with much legislation, NYSHRL is broader and provides more protection to employees than the federal law.

Have you been in any of the following situations?

  • You are denied a job because you are pregnant
  • Your supervisor treats you differently since you became pregnant
  • Your co-workers make fun of you because of your pregnancy
  • You do not receive a promotion because you are pregnant
  • Your boss refuses to make a reasonable job accommodation, such as providing you with extra bathroom breaks, during your pregnancy
  • Your boss fires you after finding out you are pregnant

If any of these situations sound familiar to you, you may be the victim of employment discrimination based on pregnancy. In New York, pregnancy discrimination includes taking any adverse employment against a worker who is pregnant, intends to become pregnant or who recently gave birth. An adverse employment action can include firing, demoting, refusing to hire, transferring and more.

Employers must treat pregnancy-related medical conditions as they would other temporary disabilities which includes an obligation to make reasonable accommodations as needed. Employers also have a duty to provide time and a location for women to express breast milk, although the requirements at the state and federal levels differ. An employer may violate many laws by failing to provide a pregnant or lactating worker with a job accommodation and nursing area she needs.

Discrimination Because of Familial Status is Unlawful in New York

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against or harass an employee or prospective employee because of familial status. While this provision of NYSHRL does not apply only to women, it is more often than not, female workers who benefit from its protection. Familial status is essentially someone who is pregnant, has a minor child or is in the process of securing custody of a minor child. Discrimination occurs when an employer makes a decision based on familial status such as:

  • Not hiring someone because she has too many children at home
  • Not promoting a woman with kids because of your belief that mothers do not want to work hard
  • Not hiring someone because he or she is a single parent
  • Firing a woman after learning she is adopting a child
  • Refusing to give a raise to a pregnant woman because of your belief that pregnant women are lazy
  • Not hiring an employee because he or she has custody of a grandchild

Many employers make decisions based on stereotypes about parents and family life that have little basis in fact. These false beliefs often limit the advancement of women in the workplace. If you have been harassed or the recipient of an adverse employment decision based on familial status, you may be entitled to significant compensation.

Gender Discrimination Can Result From Unequal Treatment in the Workplace

There are occasions when employers treat pregnant women differently than men and have policies and practices that may lead to sex or gender discrimination. For example, when an employer has a policy that permits workers to take time off to seek medical care, that policy must apply equally to all employees, including pregnant women. If an employer has a short-term disability policy, it must treat pregnancy-related conditions the same as other conditions. Failure to apply policies equally may mean that you have a claim for gender discrimination in addition to pregnancy or familial status discrimination.

Attorneys File Discrimination Claims and Retaliation Claims

Not only is it unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of gender, pregnancy or familial status, it is also illegal to retaliate. An employee has the right to try and enforce these anti-discrimination laws. An employer may not make a decision that adversely affects any employee who seeks to remediate a discriminatory situation. For example, an employer may not fire, demote or other- wise “punish” a woman who;

  • Verbally complains to HR about pregnancy discrimination
  • Files a legal claim alleging familial status discrimination
  • Files a formal complaint within the company about discrimination
  • Seeks a reasonable job accommodation for her pregnancy-related condition
  • Requests time to express breast milk
  • Files a complaint with a government agency alleging employment discrimination
  • Files a lawsuit

By filing a claim for discrimination and/or retaliation, you may be able to hold your employer accountable for back pay, emotional distress, attorney’s fees and other remedies.

Contact Us

Leeds Brown represents clients across the New York metropolitan area when workplace rights are violated. If you have experienced discrimination because you are pregnant, have children or have a pregnancy-related medical condition, please contact our office.

Our attorneys have spent decades, aggressively and compassionately providing high-quality legal counsel to people who have suffered emotional stress and financial losses due to workplace discrimination and retaliation. We understand how difficult it can be to navigate a claim on your own. You don’t have to. Call our office, and together, we can formulate a plan to get you started on the road to emotional and financial recovery. Whether you seek reinstatement to your job, a fair settlement or to take your case to trial, we can help you understand your options.

You can reach Leeds Brown 24/7 at 1-800-585-4658. Time may be of the essence – call today.