Pregnancy Discrimination in New Jersey
Pregnancy discrimination is the unfair treatment of a woman due to pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to childbirth, or pregnancy. This can either be a woman applying for a job in an organization or an already existing employee.
The Law Office of Benjamin Friedman has many years of experience in protecting the rights of employees facing workplace discrimination in New Jersey. We take pride in offering our clients top-notch legal representation. Below are some insights on pregnancy discrimination that you ought to know.
Pregnancy Discrimination at Work
A woman who is unable to perform her job temporarily due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth must be treated fairly by the employer or other covered entity. She should be treated in the same way any other employee is treated.
Employers may provide light duty, disability leave, alternative assignments, or unpaid leave to pregnant employees as fair treatment to them.
In addition, impairments that occur due to pregnancy such as gestational diabetes are considered disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA Amendment Act of 2008 makes it much easier to determine that a medical complication resulting from pregnancy is a covered disability. Therefore, an employer may have to provide reasonable accommodation for disability related to pregnancy.
Harassment at Work Due to Pregnancy
Harassment of a woman due to pregnancy or a medical complication related to childbirth is unlawful. It is considered illegal when it is frequent and severe to the extent that it creates an offensive or hostile work environment or leads to negative employment decisions. These negative employment decisions may include demotion and loss of employment.
In most cases, the harasser can be the supervisor of the victim, a co-worker, a supervisor in another department, or even someone who is not an employee in the organization such as a client.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act in NJ
In New Jersey, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits the harassment and discrimination of women due to pregnancy in all aspects of employment. These aspects of employment include firing, promotions, hiring, job assignments, pay, training, layoff, fringe benefits such as health and leave insurance, and any other terms of employment.
Pregnancy, Maternity, and Parental Leave
Under the Pregnancy and Discrimination Act, any employer who entitles temporarily disabled employees a leave without pay or a disability leave must also entitle any employee who is temporarily disabled as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medication complication as a result of the pregnancy or childbirth, that same benefit.
An employer may not single out medical conditions related to pregnancy for special procedures to determine the ability of the employee to work. However, a pregnant employee affected by pregnancy-related conditions may be required by the employer to submit a doctor’s statement. Some employers use the doctor’s statement to determine the employee’s ability to work before paying sick benefits and granting leave.
In New Jersey, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) makes a mother to a newly born child eligible for 12 weeks of leave. The mother can recover from any pregnancy related complications during the leave period. However, to be eligible for the FMLA leave, you must have worked for the employer for not less than 12 months before taking the leave. The employer must have a specific number of employees for you to be granted the leave.
New Jersey Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
The Law Office of Benjamin Friedman, has experience in pregnancy discrimination cases and will handle your case professionally. After your case hearing, you may be entitled to punitive damages, compensation, and some legal protection. Feel free to contact us anytime about your pregnancy discrimination case.