Employment Law Attorneys in New York City File Claims for Victims of Pregnancy and Familial Status Discrimination

Our experienced attorneys have devoted decades providing aggressive representation for individuals in New York City and the nearby metro areas when they experience workplace discrimination because of sex or gender. We have a genuine passion for the work we do and take pride in fighting for the rights of employees. Our lawyers strongly feel that there is no room for gender discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace.

Sex or gender discrimination occurs in the workplace when an employment decision is made based on sex, or one gender receives treatment that is different from another. It can also happen when you are the victim of harassment because of sex. There are federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits such employment discrimination because of sex. New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) supports the prohibitions in Title VII and provides some additional protection to workers here. For example, federal and state laws protect against employment discrimination because of familial status and pregnancy. NYSHRL, however, protects more workers. NYSHRL applies to private businesses with 4 or more employees, whereas the Title VII only covers private employers with 15 or more.

If you have lost your job, a promotion or a hiring opportunity because of your sex, familial status, or any other retaliatory or discriminatory reason, you may be able to file a claim against your employer. You may be entitled to monetary damages. Call us and receive high-quality, hands-on representation in your New York City employment discrimination claim.

New York Human Rights Law Prohibits Familial Status Discrimination and Pregnancy in the Workplace

It can be said that we are making progress toward workplace equality. The laws that have been on the books for years have done an adequate job of providing victim’s with recourse for much of the blatant gender discrimination pervasive in many industries and places of employment. The pay gap has narrowed between male and female workers and in 2010, women represented approximately 47% of the workforce in the United States.

Despite progress toward equal rights in the workplace, stereotypes remain that can make it more difficult for women to secure jobs and promotions. Many employers perceive that female employees, young women, in particular, are either not as committed to their careers or not able to perform their duties as well as their male counterparts. There is a persistent belief that young, female applicants will want to get married and have children and will, therefore, not work as hard. The notion is that having kids or a spouse makes employees unwilling or unable to work long hours, take on projects, or results in frequent absences from the office.

This train of thinking can apply equally to workers of any gender. However, in reality, these stereotypes affect women far more than men because it is women who are more often than not, the primary caretakers in a family. Of course, women can be the only ones who experience employment discrimination because of pregnancy.  Women are also the only workers who suffer from nursing discrimination. 

In January 2016, new state laws intended to further protect the women of New York against this type of discrimination took effect. The legislation explicitly protects against employment discrimination based on familial status. It is unlawful for an employer to make an employment decision based on whether an employee or job applicant is married, pregnant or has a child or children. The law protects individuals in New York City, and throughout the state including Long Island and the five boroughs who work for a business with at least four employees.

What is Discrimination Because of Family Status?

When an employer makes a decision about a person’s conditions of employment because of pregnancy, childbirth, having children or a spouse, it may be unlawful familial status discrimination. Let’s look at some examples of what situations may illustrate familial status discrimination in the workplace:

  • You do not get a job for which you are fully qualified because you are pregnant
  • You do not get a promotion for which you are fully qualified because your supervisor fears you will become pregnant and not want to put in the work
  • You do not get the job you are qualified for when you advise the employer of your status as a single father raising two children
  • You get fired when you tell your boss you are pregnant
  • You get fired when you tell your boss you are in the process of adopting a child
  • During a job interview, you mention to the person that you would report to that you are a single mom with four young children. She says “Wow, that’s a lot to handle. You must have to miss work often.” You do not get the job.
  • You are pregnant, but your employer does not let you enforce your rights under its short-term disability policy or the Family Medical Leave Act.

Pregnant Employees in New York Have the Right to Receive Reasonable Accommodation

NYSHRL, in many ways, treats pregnancy as any other temporary or short-term disability, meaning, a pregnant worker must receive the same consideration as any other temporarily disabled employee of any gender. When an employee cannot perform certain functions her job because of childbirth of pregnancy, the employer must make a reasonable accommodation. For example;

  • Adjusting work shifts or the number of work hours
  • Providing additional breaks
  • Modifying job duties
  • Providing equipment
  • Applying short term disability benefits and health benefits equally to pregnant and non-pregnant employees

Contact Us

If you think your employer is discriminating against you because of your familial status, you may want to contact an employment discrimination lawyer. Gender discrimination, sex harassment, and familial status can affect any worker, and if you are the victim of an unlawful employment decision, you do not have to face it alone. If you lost your job, bonus, or promotion or your employer has refused to grant a reasonable accommodation; you have rights. We can help you enforce them and recover monetary damages or other recourse that may be available.

The laws that govern familial status, pregnancy, gender and nursing discrimination can be confusing and complicated. We can help you decide how to proceed and what statute best protects your interests. Our employment law attorneys have the skill, experience and determination to navigate your claim and lead you on the right path to ensure that you recover the best results to which you are entitled. Whether you wish to negotiate a settlement or take your claim to court, we do what is needed to get the job done properly.

Contact New York City sex discrimination lawyers if you are a victim of discrimination because of your pregnancy or familial status. We can provide a full range of services related to your employment discrimination claim. Call us 24/7 at 1-800-585-4658 today for a free case evaluation.