For nearly 18 years, Rapaport Law Firm PLLC has helped fight for the rights of pregnant employees in New York. Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a pregnant employee less favorably than employees with non-pregnancy-related disabilities. Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions is unlawful sex or gender discrimination under the Federal, New York State and New York City human rights laws. Employers are required to give pregnant employees the same treatment and benefits that are given to other employees with temporary disabilities.
An employer is not permitted to direct a pregnant employee to cease working based on the employer’s stereotypes regarding pregnant women. A pregnant employee who takes pregnancy-related leave must be permitted to take advantage of her sick leave to the same extent as if she were suffering from another temporary physical disability. Pregnant employees cannot be fired for using accrued sick time.
Rapaport Law Firm is proud to have been at the forefront of protecting pregnant employees in New York against discrimination in the workplace. In our groundbreaking case, Peralta v. Chromium Plating (New York Law Journal, October 18, 2000), attorney Marc Rapaport obtained a summary judgment in favor of our firm’s client, Wendy Peralta. In that case, the defendant-employer directed Ms. Peralta to cease working after learning of Ms. Peralta’s pregnancy. The NY Federal Court’s groundbreaking decision marked a strong affirmation of a pregnant employee’s right to continue in her career, free of discrimination. If you believe that you are the victim of discrimination, call us today at (212) 382-1600.
NEW YORK CITY HUMAN RIGHTS LAW HAS POWERFUL REMEDIES FOR PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE
For more than two decades, the New York pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Rapaport Law Firm have obtained substantial settlements and verdicts on behalf of people who were subjected to pregnancy discrimination in their workplaces in New York City. Fortunately, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) is one of the most powerful anti-discrimination laws in the United States. An employer in New York City cannot fire a pregnant employee for missing work due to pregnancy-related medical condition. Companies are also required to accommodate pregnant employees so they can work and still obtain medical care for themselves and their baby. The NYCHRL also provides powerful remedies, including unlimited punitive damages and the recovery of all costs and attorney’s fees incurred by an employee. Employers are also forbidden from firing an employee in retaliation or complaining about pregnancy discrimination.
As a result of the relentless pressure for profits and productivity, it is not uncommon to find a negative attitude toward pregnant employees in many New York City workplaces. We have represented talented employees in the financial services industry who describe corporate cultures where pregnancy is viewed by management and co-workers as an inconvenient drag on productivity. Some of our clients were subjected to innuendo by bosses and coworkers suggesting that their requests for pregnancy-related accommodations (such as time off for pregnancy-related medical issues) were proof that the employee had betrayed the company by choosing their families over their jobs. These deeply offensive (yet surprisingly common) attitudes cause pregnant employees to experience emotional trauma and physical illness.
FILING A PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT IN NEW YORK
A complaint for pregnancy discrimination can be generally filed in either state or federal court. Our employment lawyers will help you decide which forum is preferable based on the facts and circumstances of your case. Before filing a complaint in Federal Court under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1964, you are first required to file an administrative “charge” of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After receiving a “right to sue” letter from the EEOC, you can then commence litigation in federal court. There is no administrative prerequisite under the New York City and State anti-discrimination statutes.