Under federal and state laws, it is illegal for employers in New Jersey to discriminate against women who are pregnant, have a pregnancy-related medical condition, or have given birth. Employers are also required to provide pregnant workers with reasonable pregnancy accommodations. An employer that denies an accommodation or retaliates against an employee for requesting a pregnancy accommodation may be held liable for pregnancy discrimination.
If this has happened to you, turn to Castronovo & McKinney, LLC. Our practice is dedicated to helping workers fight back against employment discrimination in all its forms, including pregnancy discrimination. When you become our client, you will work directly with an experienced pregnancy accommodations attorney who work tirelessly will protect your rights. Contact our office today to arrange a consultation.
How We Can Help
We have comprehensive knowledge of the applicable federal and state laws protecting pregnant workers and the skills to hold your employer accountable. While we prefer to seek negotiated settlements, we will represent your interests in court if your employer refuses to negotiate in good faith. If we can demonstrate that your employer has discriminated against you because of your pregnancy, you may be entitled to just compensation.
Pregnancy Accommodations Under New Jersey Law
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) requires your employer to provide reasonable accommodations for your pregnancy, regardless of whether you have a pregnancy-related medical condition. A reasonable accommodation basically means a modification to help you perform your essential job duties.
Examples of pregnancy accommodations include:
- Time off for doctor’s appointments
- A modified work schedule
- Reassignment of non-essential job duties
- Restrictions on lifting
- Providing ergonomic office furniture, special equipment, or devices
- Transfer to a less demanding position
- Extra bathroom breaks
- Extra food and water breaks
- Periodic rest during the day
- Leaves of absence
You are required to notify your employer of the need for an accommodation, and your employer must engage in an “interactive process” with you to determine what type of accommodation is needed and how it can be provided. However, your employer is not required to make accommodations that would cause undue hardship – modifications that would be too costly or difficult to make based on the company’s size and resources.
Accommodations for Breast Feeding
After you give birth and return to work, the LAD requires your employer to accommodate you if you are nursing. For example, your employer must provide you with an appropriate place and time where you can express milk. Notably, that location cannot be a bathroom stall.
Protection Against Retaliation
The LAD prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee because she requested a reasonable pregnancy accommodation. This means your employer cannot take an adverse employment action (firing, demoting disciplining) against you for requesting an accommodation or discriminate against you in any other way because of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Accommodations Under Federal Law
If you become disabled due to a pregnancy-related condition, you have a right to request a reasonable accommodation from your employer under federal laws, including:
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) – The PDA requires employers to treat women who are temporarily unable to perform their jobs no differently than other workers with a temporary disability. In short, employees who are temporarily disabled because of a pregnancy-related condition must be allowed to take disability leave if other temporarily disabled workers are granted disability leave.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Physical impairments that substantially limit an individual’s ability to lift, stand or bend, including pregnancy-related conditions, are ADA-covered disabilities. The ADA requires employers with 15 or more employees to make reasonable accommodations so that a pregnant worker can complete her job duties.
Conditions that are considered disabling include gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and pregnancy-related carpal tunnel syndrome.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Pregnancy Accommodation Attorney
If your request for reasonable pregnancy accommodation has been denied unfairly, or you were retaliated against for requesting an accommodation, Castronovo & McKinney can help. We understand your concerns about losing your job and the stress this situation has caused and will provide you with compassionate, skilled representation.
Let our legal team handle all the details of your claim, including:
- Obtaining copies of employment policies and personnel records
- Reviewing your request for a pregnancy accommodation
- Interviewing witnesses, including managers and supervisors
- Taking over communications with your employer and their lawyers
- Negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement
- Filing a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit if necessary
Above all, we will offer you knowledge, compassion, and the personal attention you deserve. Contact our office today to get started.