Federal and New Jersey state laws protect you from being discriminated against because you’re pregnant. We at Begelman & Orlow, P. C. know what a precious time becoming a parent and having a newborn baby is.
Forms of Discrimination
- Not being hired because of a pregnancy – visible or disclosed
- Being fired after a maternity leave
- Receiving lower pay because of a pregnancy
- Less desirable work
Why Employers Discriminate
- They think performance will be lower because pregnant employee will be unavailable
- Thinking that pregnant employee will need accommodations for the newborn
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits sex discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions that are related. It only applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The PDA is part of the US Civil RIghts Law. It was made law in 1978.
Rise in Pregnancy Discrimination Claims
- The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mediates pregnancy discrimination on the federal level. In 2006, close to 5,000 pregnancy discrimination claims were handled. The amount awarded was over 10 million dollars. As more and more women enter the workforce, there will likely be more and more pregnancy discrimination claims.
- If other temporary employees are allowed altered assignments or disability leave without pay, then pregnant employees should be allowed the same altered assignment and disability leave without pay.
- Health Insurance
- Medical bills. To the extent the employer provides other health benefits, the employer has to provide coverage for the reasonable costs of a medical pregnancy. The employer does not have to provide the costs of an abortion, unless the life of the mother is at stake.
- Spouses. Benefits for the spouses of male employees and the spouses of female employees should be the same.
- Doctor’s statement. If other temporarily disabled employees have to provide a doctor’s note, then pregnant employees can be required to provide a doctor’s note.
- Fringe benefits
- Seniority, vacations, pay increases and temporary disability benefits. Employees on pregnancy leave are considered temporary disabled employees. Employees on pregnancy leave should be treated like other temporarily disabled employees when it comes to seniority, vacations, pay increases and temporary disability benefits.
- Time off allowed
- At least 12 weeks for new parents if the employee qualifies under the Federal and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- An additional 24 weeks if the employee qualifies under the New Jersey Family and Medical Leave Act (NJFMLA)
- Medical disability. Days off for leave for medical disability do not count against the Federal or New Jersey Medical Leave Act. For example, if you take 3 weeks off for medical reasons, you still have 12 weeks leave for the FMLA.
- No retaliation allowed
- Employees who opposed employer policies that discriminate against pregnant employees can suffer retaliation for filing a complaint, testifying, or cooperating with an investigation
How our Firm Can Help
- We know what laws apply
- We know what your rights are
- We know how to prove your claim
- We know what damages you’re entitled to.
Our Firm’s Experience
We have 115 years combined experience protecting your rights. The attorneys of Begelman & Orlow, P. C. have offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Contact our offices at 866-627-7052. We have experience in all phases of discrimination law, including pregnancy and newborn care discrimination.