Whether you are currently pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, you should understand the basics of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This Act was created to help protect the rights of working mothers. Here are five important things that you should know about it:
1. It’s illegal for you to be denied a job because you are or could become pregnant.
If you apply for a job and are fully able to perform the job, it is illegal for an employer to not hire you simply because you are or could become pregnant.
2. Pregnant employees must be permitted to work as long as they are able to do their job.
If you can still perform your job, it’s illegal for your employer to tell you that you must begin your leave. You are entitled to work until you are no longer able to do your job or until you choose to take your leave.
3. Employers must treat your pregnancy just as they would treat standard injuries or illnesses.
Always take a look at your company’s policy regarding injury and illness. If your company requires a doctor’s note for absences caused by illness, make sure that you have a note for them in regards to your illness. After recovering for a time, if your company requires a doctor’s release in order for you to come back to work, have that ready.
Your company must treat your pregnancy (and any illness or injury that may come with it) exactly as they would treat an illness or injury leave of any other employee. To hold you to higher standards or request more information from you is illegal.
4. All new parents may be eligible for 12 weeks of leave.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 states that any new parent may be eligible for 12 weeks of leave to care for their new child. This means that whether you adopt or give birth, you can take time to bond and care for your new baby without fear of losing your job. Both men and women are eligible to take this time off. Whether your leave is unpaid or paid for depends upon your company’s policy and the amount of time that you have worked for them. Be aware that New York has state-specific laws that extend leave time and benefits while you care for your child. Contact us for more information.
5. You don’t have to take all your leave time.
You are the one who decides when you want to come back to work. As long as you are within the window of time offered by your company for leave, you should be welcome to come back whenever you feel like you’re ready. If your policy says otherwise, contact us.
Get a Lawyer
If you feel like you’ve been the victim of workplace discrimination because of your pregnancy or potential to become pregnant, seek legal help. This discrimination is illegal, and you should get a dedicated gender and pregnancy discrimination lawyer on your side. The Crumiller team has been helping victims of discrimination in New York take a stand and get justice. Contact us here or give us a call at (212) 390-8480 today!