New Jersey Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
Even two decades into the 21st century, there are still a lot of New Jersey employers who have mid-20the century attitudes towards pregnant women. Many employers simply do not wish to hire someone who is pregnant–or may become pregnant–because of fear they will not be a good-enough worker. Such attitudes are not simply outdated but illegal.
Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. It amounts to singling out women for less-favorable treatment because of their reproductive abilities. If you have been the victim of such treatment and want to take legal action, the experienced New Jersey pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Poulos LoPiccolo are here to help.
How Federal and State Laws Protect You During and After Your Pregnancy
The federal Civil Rights Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) both prohibit pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. The LAD actually offers broader protections since it covers all New Jersey employers. Additionally, pregnant workers are entitled to certain benefits under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the New Jersey Family Leave Act that often come into play in pregnancy discrimination cases.
In its most direct form, pregnancy discrimination refers to any situation where an employer makes an employment-related decision based on your pregnancy or the expectation you might become pregnant someday. Some common examples of illegal pregnancy discrimination include:
- refusal to hire or promote an employee based on pregnancy;
- subjecting an employee to harassment or intimidation based on pregnancy;
- changing an employee’s work assignment based on pregnancy when it was not requested by that employee;
- refusing to make a fair and reasonable accommodation for the employee’s pregnancy or any medical condition related to their pregnancy; and
- terminating an employee because they become pregnant or request a pregnancy-related accommodation.
It is important to note that the FMLA and the New Jersey Family Leave protect the rights of certain pregnant employees to take a specified amount of job-protected leave in advance of childbirth and to recover and bond with the new child afterwards. While your employer is not required to pay you during this leave in most cases, you cannot be fired, demoted, or disciplined for taking it.
Additionally, you have the same right to request a “reasonable accommodation” for your pregnancy as any other employee would for a temporary medical disability. For instance, you can ask your employer for the right to work remotely or temporary reassignment to lighter duty. The law does not require employers to grant a request that would impose an undue hardship or cost on its business, but they must engage in a good-faith interactive process to find a reasonable accommodation.
New Jersey Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
Pregnancy is often a challenging time for expecting parents. The stress of having to deal with discriminatory conduct in the workplace should not add to this burden. If you have been targeted for unfair or illegal actions at work and need legal advice and representation from a skilled New Jersey pregnancy discrimination lawyer, contact Poulos LoPiccolo PC today to schedule an initial consultation.