Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy in workplaces with 15 or more employees. An employer may not treat a woman (applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition with regard to any term or condition of employment.
Employers must give pregnant employees the same treatment and benefits they give to other employees with temporary disabilities. For example, if an employer allows a temporarily disabled employee to perform alternative assignments or take paid leave for medical conditions, the employer must provide the same for a woman who is pregnant or suffering from a related medical condition. Similarly, a pregnant woman’s seniority, benefits and privileges of employment must accrue in the same manner they accrue for other temporarily disabled employees. Health insurance must cover pregnancy expenses and be reimbursed to the same extent as other medical conditions. No higher deductible can be imposed. Employers must provide the same health benefits for spouses of male employees as they do for spouses of female employees.
Employers must allow pregnant employees to work as long as they are able to perform their jobs. An employer may not demand that a pregnant woman suffering from a medical condition stays out of work until the baby is born. Instead, the employee must be allowed to return to work once she recovers from her medical condition. Additionally, an employer may not prohibit an employee from returning to work for a predetermined length of time after childbirth.
Pregnant employees may have additional rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
New York City and State Human Rights laws also protect pregnant employees and applicants from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy in workplaces with four or more employees.
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We offer a free and confidential phone consultation in which you can discuss your workplace mistreatment. Send an email or call 646-741-3490, toll-free 866-654-0343, to speak with an experienced New York pregnancy discrimination lawyer.