Women who are pregnant or plan to have children have a right to job opportunities and benefits of employment. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination is a recurring issue in workplaces throughout New Jersey. Despite federal and state laws designed to protect pregnant workers against discrimination, holding employers accountable is difficult. That’s where Castronovo & McKinney, LLC comes in.
Our employment law practice is dedicated to eliminating workplace discrimination in all its forms and protecting the rights of pregnant workers. If you have been treated unfairly by an employer because of your pregnancy, we will provide you with compassionate, efficient representation and dependable service.
Well-versed in the applicable anti-discrimination laws, we have a proven history of successfully resolving pregnancy discrimination claims through negotiation, arbitration, and litigation. Our legal team also represents employees in all types of employment-related disputes and works with them to establish policies and procedures to prevent pregnancy discrimination.
When you become our client, we will take the time to understand your circumstances, explain all your rights, and explore all your options. Contact our Morristown or Manhattan office today to speak with an experienced New Jersey pregnancy discrimination attorney.
Employment Law Attorneys Fighting Pregnancy Discrimination in New Jersey
Pregnancy discrimination, though not always obvious, occurs when a female employee or candidate is treated unfairly because of her pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related medical condition. Discrimination may also arise when a pregnant worker is denied a reasonable accommodation.
In any event, pregnancy discrimination is a violation of both the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). These laws are similar in many ways, however, the PDA only applies to employers with 15 or more employees while the LAD covers all employers in the state.
In short, discrimination based on pregnancy regarding any aspect of employment is prohibited, including:
- Job assignments
- Employment benefits
In addition, employers are required to treat pregnant women who are unable to perform their jobs due to pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition no differently than other temporarily disabled workers. Pregnancy discrimination is difficult to prove, however, because employers often disguise their discriminatory motives.
Pregnancy Accommodations in New Jersey
Under the LAD, all pregnant women are entitled to reasonable accommodations for their pregnancy, including:
- Bathroom, water breaks
- Rest breaks
- Job restructuring/reassignment
- A modified work schedule
Employers are also required to provide reasonable accommodations to women who are breastfeeding, including reasonable break times to express milk, as well as a suitable, private area (other than a bathroom) to do so.
Medical Leave for Pregnant Workers
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), pregnant workers are permitted to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave for pregnancy and related health conditions. Also, both mothers and fathers are permitted to take unpaid leave to care for a newborn. In addition, pregnant workers who take FMLA leave must be allowed to accrue seniority and any employment benefits during their unpaid time off.
Finally, the New Jersey Family Leave Act does not provide leave for personal medical reasons, but the law allows qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn child.
Identifying Pregnancy Discrimination in New Jersey
Employers that have misconceptions about pregnant workers not being able to perform their duties may be motivated to discriminate by:
- Refusing to hire a pregnant job applicant or woman who may become pregnant
- Firing an employee solely because of her pregnancy
- Denying a pregnant woman a reasonable accommodation or medical leave
- Giving an unfavorable performance review to a pregnant worker with a good work history
- Eliminating or reassigning a position when a worker returns from pregnancy leave
Under federal and state law, harassing a woman because of pregnancy or a related medical condition is considered an unlawful form of discrimination. An employer can be held liable when a supervisor, coworker, client, or customer makes inappropriate comments about a pregnant worker that are severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment.
Why Choose Castronovo & McKinney?
Our employment law attorneys believe there should be zero tolerance for pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. We have a well-earned reputation as dedicated advocates who work tirelessly to protect the employment rights of pregnant workers. If you have been fired, demoted, reassigned, or harassed because of your pregnancy, we will provide you with powerful representation and help you recover meaningful compensation.
Our legal team also helps business clients resolve pregnancy discrimination claims and works with them to establish workplaces free from discrimination and harassment. Above all, we will leverage our skills and experience to protect your rights and help you achieve a positive outcome.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney
Whether you have been untreated unfairly by an employer because of your pregnancy or your business is facing a pregnancy discrimination claim, turn to Castronovo & McKinney, LLC. We have a proven history of resolving pregnancy discrimination claims successfully, in and out of the courtroom. Contact us today so we can start working on your case.