There are few life events as momentous as giving birth, but for many pregnant employees, the excitement over the future birth of their children is tempered by fear of losing their jobs because they are pregnant. However, federal and state law prohibit employers from discriminating against people in protected classes, including pregnant individuals, and employers that engage in discriminatory acts can be held liable for the damages caused by their discrimination. If your employer discriminated against you in the workplace due to your pregnancy, you may be able to pursue damages. The diligent New Jersey pregnancy discrimination lawyers of Resnick Law Group are skilled at aiding victims of unlawful workplace conduct seek compensation from their employers, and if you engage our services, we will vigorously advocate on your behalf.Protections for Pregnant Employees Under Federal and State Law
Pregnant employees are protected from discrimination in the workplace by both federal and state law. At the federal level, in 1978 the Pregnancy Discrimination Act modified Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, by clarifying that it is a form of sex discrimination. Specifically, Title VII was amended to note that discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination due to pregnancy, childbirth, and other associated conditions. It was further changed to order that employers should treat pregnant individuals the same as other employees, including as it pertains to the receipt of benefits. Notably, Title VII generally only applies to employers with fifteen or more employees. Similarly, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits employers from discriminating against people who are affected by pregnancy. Unlike Title VII, however, employers do not have to have a minimum number of employees to be required to comply with the Law Against Discrimination.
A dedicated pregnancy discrimination attorney serving New Jersey can evaluate the facts of your case to determine whether you may have a claim under these laws. Actions that constitute pregnancy based discrimination include reduction of job duties, firing an employee due to the fact that they are pregnant or take medical leave following the birth of their child, failing to provide reasonable accommodations for a pregnant employee or refusing to hire a person because they are or may become pregnant.Proving Discrimination Due to Pregnancy
Employees who believe they are victims of pregnancy discrimination can seek an administrative remedy by filing a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which allows them to resolve any discrimination issues through mediation with their employer, or they may file a lawsuit against their employers in court. Notably, employees must comply with strict deadlines regardless of whether they file an administrative complaint or a civil lawsuit, otherwise, they may waive the right to recover damages. A skilled New Jersey pregnancy discrimination attorney can help you comply with all procedural requirements when pursuing your claim.
An employee alleging pregnancy discrimination in a civil lawsuit must show that the employer took adverse action against them due to their pregnancy. If an employee adequately establishes pregnancy based discrimination, the burden then shifts to the employer, who can only avoid liability by demonstrating a non-discriminatory reason for the actions taken against the employee. If the employer meets this burden, the employee must then show that the employer’s explanation for its actions is a mere pretext. Employees who successfully prove pregnancy discrimination may recover lost wages and benefits, compensation for emotional distress, and attorney’s fees.Experienced Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys in New Jersey
Pregnant employees have the right to work in an environment that is free of discrimination, and if their rights are violated, they may be owed compensation. If you were a victim of workplace discrimination due to your pregnancy, you may have potential claims. At Resnick Law Group, our knowledgeable lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of employment discrimination seek recourse for their harm, and we will tirelessly pursue any damages you may be able to recover. We have an office in Roseland, and we assist people in employment matters in New Jersey, including in cities in Bergen, Hudson, Monmouth, Morris, Essex, Somerset, Passaic, Mercer, Union, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Warren, and Sussex Counties. We have an office in Manhattan as well, and we assist people in lawsuits in New York City, along with Westchester and Rockland Counties. You can call us at our Roseland office at (973) 781-1204 or at our New York office at (646) 867-7997, or contact us at either office via our online form to schedule a meeting.