Pregnancy discrimination at work is prohibited at both the federal and state level. Employees may not be denied employment or a promotion, demoted, or fired because they are pregnant. Those who are discriminated against as such may be entitled to legal remedies including job reinstatement and compensatory and other damages. If you believe you are the victim of pregnancy discrimination, contact a South Jersey workplace discrimination lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC.
Federal Laws Against Pregnancy Discrimination
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, and other protected classes. The statute was later amended to include the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which specifically prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.
These rules apply to employers with 15 or more employees and in situations including:
- Job assignments
- Fringe benefits
- Any other term or condition of employment
Prohibited Discriminatory Actions
Employers may not refuse to hire or promote an employee because of her pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, nor may they fire an employee because she is pregnant or has a pregnancy-related condition. If a pregnant worker is willing and able to keep working, an employer may not forbid her from doing so just because she is pregnant.
Generally, employers may not treat pregnant workers unfavorably on the basis of their pregnancy. This means that employers must provide pregnant employees with the same level of health benefits and ability to accrue seniority, vacation, pay increases, and reasonable accommodations as other non-pregnant employees.
Laws Against Pregnancy Discrimination in New Jersey
New Jersey workers who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition should contact a qualified, local attorney to discuss their legal options. The South Jersey workplace discrimination lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC provide skilled, compassionate representation in pregnancy discrimination and all other types of employment discrimination cases.
Each state has its own pregnancy discrimination laws, some extending more protections than others. In New Jersey, workers may file a claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), a broad statute that prohibits harassment, discrimination, and retaliation on the basis of pregnancy.
Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Workers
The NJLAD also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers such as flexible hours, remote work, and modifications to facilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship upon the employer. In addition to reasonable workplace accommodations, pregnant workers may also be entitled to time off work to care for their newborn children.
Taking Time Off Work to Care for a Newborn Child
Private employers with 30 or more employees worldwide and state and local government agencies (regardless of size) are subject to the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). To qualify for leave under the NJFLA, an employee must have been employed for at least 12 months by the employer and must have worked at least 1,000 hours in the past 12 months. Under the Act, eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave within a 24-month period to care for or bond with a child within one year of his or her birth.
Filing a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit
New Jersey does not require claimants to exhaust their administrative remedies with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) prior to filing a workplace discrimination lawsuit. Therefore, workers should contact a knowledgeable attorney to discuss which course of action is best in their case.
South Jersey Workplace Discrimination Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Protect Pregnant Workers’ Rights
If you believe you were discriminated against on the basis of your pregnancy, contact a South Jersey workplace discrimination lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. We proudly represent workers throughout South Jersey, including the areas of Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County, from our offices located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City. For a free and confidential consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 856-235-7075 today.