Defending the Rights of Pregnant People in New Jersey & Pennsylvania

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a pregnant employee unfavorably due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act covers both employees and job applicants. If you have been treated unfavorably as a result of your pregnancy, call Zeff Law Firm. Our pregnancy discrimination lawyers in Mt Laurel and Philadelphia understand that you depend on your job and work to protect the rights of every client.

Zeff Law Firm’s Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers

  • Protecting Employee Rights for 30+ Years
  • Experienced Representation & Personalized Attention
  • Track Record of Success in Lawsuits for Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation
  • Free & Confidential Consultation and Discussion of Your Case

Is your employer discriminating against you because you are pregnant? Call 856-778-9700 to schedule a consultation with lawyers skilled in pregnancy discrimination in Philadelphia and Mt Laurel.

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Our Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys are Experts in FMLA Requirements

The Family and Medical Leave Act, known as FMLA, is a labor law that requires employers to provide employees with unpaid leave. Employees can use this leave for their own health purposes or to care for a family member’s medical issues. FMLA applies to pregnancy and maternity leave, during which new mothers take time off from work to recover from childbirth, and to take care of their newborn child.

Pregnancy discrimination can occur during the interview process, during employment, and in the termination of employment. While the law doesn’t give pregnant women any additional rights in the workplace, it does say that reasonable accommodations should be made for pregnant woman, just as accommodations are made for those with disabilities. Overall, the law is designed to prevent employers from treating pregnant employees differently or less favorably than other employees. If this happens, contact a lawyer experienced in pregnancy discrimination in Philadelphia or Mount Laurel, NJ to discuss your evidence.

Discuss Evidence Discrimination with a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer

It is not uncommon for there to be direct evidence of pregnancy discrimination because employers sometimes openly admit that an employee’s pregnancy was a factor in their decision-making for their negative action against an employee (denying a promotion, firing, etc).

pregnant woman working

To prove pregnancy discrimination with circumstantial evidence, you need proof of behavior and discussions at your workplace about your condition. The facts of your case must make it more likely than not that pregnancy discrimination was behind your employer’s action.

Timing is crucial in pregnancy discrimination cases, because unlike protected disabilities, pregnancy is a temporary condition. If the timing of your pregnancy announcement at work and the timing of when your employer started treating you differently sync up, you may have a strong case for pregnancy discrimination. Contact a pregnancy discrimination lawyer to discuss possible evidence for your case right away. A pregnancy discrimination attorney in Mount Laurel and Philadelphia can help you assess the strength of your claims and decide your best legal options moving forward. State laws may offer more protection than federal law. Contact our Philadelphia or Mount Laurel pregnancy discrimination lawyer at 856-778-9700 to learn more.

Laws That Protect Against Pregnancy Discrimination

There are a few laws that apply to pregnant women in the workplace, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is contained within Title VII, making it unlawful to discriminate against an employee because she is pregnant. It also covers situations associated with pregnancy.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act & FMLA Law Prohibits Employers From Discriminating Against an Employee Who:

  • Is pregnant
  • Has a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth
  • Plans to become pregnant
  • Takes time from work for in vitro fertilization
  • Had an abortion

Right To Pregnancy Accommodations At Work

In addition to prohibiting discrimination, the law requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees the same as they would for any injured or disabled employee. This includes providing modification of job assignments, light duty, or disability leave for pregnant employees.

Healthcare & Leave-Related Laws for Pregnant Employees

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination in any aspect of employment including pay, job assignments, leave, and healthcare. This means that a company’s healthcare plan may not exclude certain benefits that apply only to women, such as maternity coverage or coverage for conditions or complications related to pregnancy. Additionally, pregnant women have the same rights to leave and FMLA time as any other employee.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

What is Considered Pregnancy Discrimination?

Any activity that involves treating a pregnant employee or applicant unfairly or negatively based on their pregnancy is considered pregnancy discrimination. This includes discrimination because of the employee giving birth or any conditions related to the pregnancy. Some examples include:

  • Being fired or demoted for being pregnant or having a child
  • Not hiring someone based on being pregnant or having a child
  • Not granting pregnant workers the same temporary disability benefits as disabled employees
  • Failing to guarantee a worker that has just given birth the equivalent position when they return from maternity leave.

It’s important to remember that some medical conditions that accompany pregnancy can count as temporary disability, such as severe morning sickness or preeclampsia. Any action taken by an employer against an employee based on those grounds would count as pregnancy discrimination. Contact the pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Zeff Law Firm about questions in your case.

How do you Prove Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace?

In short, the only way to prove that you have experienced pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is to show proof of that occurring. In other words, the burden of proof for such a claim is on the person who has experienced the discrimination.

There are two types of evidence that can be used to support a case of pregnancy discrimination:

  • Direct Evidence: This refers to evidence that directly implies that the employer intentionally acted to discriminate against the employee or candidate for hire. Sometimes, this can involve the employer admitting to the act of discrimination. For instance, if your employer admitted to giving another employee an opportunity because they were “concerned about your ability to do the work while pregnant,” that would constitute direct evidence of pregnancy discrimination.
  • Circumstantial Evidence: This type of evidence can be a little trickier to prove but it can function as sufficient evidence in pregnancy discrimination cases to prove that your employer has discriminated against you. Circumstantial evidence is evidence that when observed as a whole tends to demonstrate that it was more likely than not that you were discriminated against. Examples of circumstantial evidence include proof of other employees having been consistently discriminated against, strange management decisions, and evidence of discussions between employees about your condition(s) can all build up sufficient evidence against your employer.

Can Being Pregnant Disqualify You For a Job?

From a legal standpoint, it is illegal to discriminate against hiring a pregnant employee. Unfortunately, that does not mean that a pregnant applicant will not run into some trouble in the hiring process. Because many pregnant employees require leave and additional time off, employers are often hesitant to hire someone who may come with negative implications for the business when compared to other candidates. They may pass on a pregnant candidate without stating that as a reason for doing so. Many pregnant candidates choose to hide their pregnancies (when possible) to be fully considered for positions of interest to avoid the possibility of pregnancy discrimination. Contact the pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Zeff Law Firm to discuss the details of your case.

Do Employers have to Accommodate Pregnancy?

Pregnancy-related conditions are included under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there are several federal protections that require employers to accommodate pregnant employees. First, the ADA protects employees with disabilities from any hardships or discrimination at their place of work. Next is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). This requires that employers make job-related modifications for pregnant employees. It also works to prevent discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth and childcare, and any other conditions that may arise because of the pregnancy. The PDA also requires that employers treat pregnant employees the same as any other coworkers in their ability to work.

Is Pregnancy Considered a Disability?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), pregnancy is not considered a disability. However, the language of the ADA does include several conditions related to pregnancy as being covered disabilities for the purpose of the workplace. This can include morning sickness, anemia, leg swelling, depression, and any other conditions that arise from the pregnancy that impair the employee’s ability to function in their job duties.

Can you Sue for Pregnancy Discrimination?

If you think that your employer has been discriminating against you based on your pregnancy, you can file a charge through the office of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is a legal requirement if you want to file a discrimination lawsuit against your employer. However, it is important to remember that you need to file your charge within 180 days of the incident. Some states enforce additional laws that give additional amounts of time for pregnant employees to file a claim. Once this is done, you will receive a ‘right to sue’ letter from the EEOC, assuming they have found a sufficient claim in your case. After this, you are qualified to sue but have only 90 days to do so upon receiving your letter. It is important to act fast at this point and find a pregnancy discrimination lawyer to represent you. Contact Zeff Law Firm to speak with our attorneys who are highly experienced in pregnancy discrimination today.

Have Your Rights Been Violated?

If your employer fails to comply with the law, contact our pregnancy discrimination lawyers to learn about your legal rights.
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