Pregnancy Discrimination and Harassment
New York Pregnancy Leave Attorneys
Congress passed the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993. Employers with more than 50 employees must comply with FMLA requirements, guaranteeing workers the right to take leave, without fear of losing their job, when valid medical reasons require it. Even though workers are guaranteed certain rights and protections under FMLA, not all employers comply with its requirements. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for pregnant women to encounter subtle forms of discrimination that often sets them up for failure before they can take leave under the terms of FMLA. Typically, this involves increasing a pregnant woman’s workload, making it difficult for her to make scheduled doctor’s appointments, or micro-managing her in order to nit-pick over the quality of her work.
At the New York employment law office of Leeds Brown Law, PC, our FMLA attorneys have seen countless underhanded methods used by employers to discriminate against pregnant women. If you’ve been denied FMLA or are experiencing harassment or discrimination as a result of your pregnancy, contact the pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown Law, PC today.
PREGNANCY LEAVE AND EMPLOYEE PROTECTIONS UNDER FMLA
It’s also important to understand what your rights are under FMLA. In order to encourage pregnant women to find another job, an employer might tell a pregnant employee that they can’t guarantee they’ll have a job after they give birth. Or, an employer might ask you if you can work from home and take on a few projects while you’re on FMLA leave. For these reasons, it’s important to keep the following in mind with regard to your rights under FMLA:
- If you are pregnant (or have a valid medical reason associated with your pregnancy) you are eligible to take medical leave under FMLA.
- If you have a valid reason to take medical leave, your employer cannot deny you leave or any benefits you are eligible to receive
- Pregnant women who take leave under FMLA have a right to return to the job they left once their leave is over. In the event your employer filled your job, you must be provided with one that is similar in nature and comparable in pay. Additionally, you must be offered the same benefits you had before you took leave under FMLA.
- An employer cannot fire an employee, or retaliate against her, for taking pregnancy leave.
PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION – WHEN TO CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
Most employers, especially larger ones, are all too aware of the requirements of FMLA. Consequently, discrimination against pregnant women often takes the form of capricious and arbitrary treatment of them by an employer. For example, after a woman announces her pregnancy, a supervisor may suddenly increase her workload while simultaneously shortening her deadlines; she may be “taken out of the loop” in regard to important communications; or, she may be pressured to finish all her work before she takes leave or takes time off for doctor appointments.
The purpose of these kinds of behaviors is to make a pregnant woman so unhappy and miserable that she will decide to quit her job rather than take leave under FMLA. In some cases, a supervisor may put a pregnant woman on a performance improvement plan, claiming that her job performance has suffered. Again, the intent of this kind of harassment is to encourage a pregnant woman to quit her job or provide the company with what it believes is a proper legal ground for firing her.
CONTACT PREGNANCY LEAVE DISCRIMINATION ATTORNEYS AT LEEDS BROWN LAW, PC
Companies who discriminate against pregnant women often don’t realize just how risky it is. Reviewing company records, emails, performance reviews, and eyewitness testimony often quickly exposes discrimination against a pregnant woman in the workplace. Don’t assume you don’t have a case – contact New York pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown Law, PC today to learn how we can help you.
Located in New York City, as well as Nassau County, the attorneys at Leeds Brown Law, PC offer high quality legal services and representation to clients throughout the five boroughs of Manhattan, including Wall Street, Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island; and throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, including the Northshore, the Southshore, and cities such as Garden City, Carle Place, Hempstead, Mineola, Melville, Westbury, Hicksville, Levittown, Freeport, Massapequa, Valley Stream, Long Beach, Glen Cove, Syosset, Huntington, Bayside, Forest Hills, Manhasset, Whitestone, Commack, Brentwood and Riverhead, New York. Leeds Brown Law also extends its practice throughout all the counties of Nassau and Suffolk County, which includes the East end of Long Island, as well as to The Hamptons.