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Pregnancy Work Discrimination: Knowing Your Rights in Westchester County

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Being pregnant is an exciting and transformative time in a person’s life. However, it can also bring challenges, especially when it comes to navigating the workplace. Pregnant employees are protected by both federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination and ensure their rights are respected. In Westchester County, New York, pregnant employees have additional protections under the New York State Human Rights Law. This article aims to provide valuable information to pregnant employees about their rights, including pregnancy-related accommodations, leave entitlements, and steps to take if discrimination occurs in the workplace.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)

Under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant employees. This means that employers cannot treat pregnant employees less favorably than other employees based on their pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This includes aspects such as hiring, promotions, job assignments, and benefits.

Pregnancy-Related Accommodations

Pregnant employees may require reasonable accommodations to perform their job duties safely and comfortably. Employers are legally obligated to provide these accommodations, as long as they do not impose an undue hardship on the business. Examples of pregnancy-related accommodations include:

  1. Modifying work schedules or assignments.
  2. Providing additional breaks and allowing more frequent bathroom visits.
  3. Providing a temporary transfer to a less physically demanding job.
  4. Making adjustments to the work environment, such as providing a stool or allowing the use of a chair.

New York State Human Rights Law

In addition to federal protections, pregnant employees in Westchester County are covered by the New York State Human Rights Law. This law provides even stronger safeguards against pregnancy discrimination and harassment. It covers employers of all sizes, ensuring that pregnant employees are protected regardless of the company’s size.

Leave Entitlements

Pregnant employees in Westchester County are entitled to take time off work for pregnancy-related conditions and childbirth. The following laws protect the rights of pregnant employees to take leave:

  1. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Under the FMLA, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for a newborn child. Employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide FMLA leave.
  2. New York Paid Family Leave (PFL): The PFL provides eligible employees with paid leave to bond with a newborn child or care for a family member with a serious health condition. This law ensures that employees can take time off without sacrificing their financial stability.

Taking Action Against Discrimination
If a pregnant employee believes they have experienced discrimination in the workplace, it is important to take certain steps to protect their rights:

  1. Document Incidents: Keep a detailed record of any discriminatory acts, including dates, times, locations, and the individuals involved.
  2. Report the Discrimination: Notify your employer or the appropriate supervisor about the discrimination you have experienced. Follow your company’s internal reporting procedures, if available.
  3. Seek Legal Guidance: Consult with an experienced employment discrimination attorney who specializes in pregnancy discrimination cases. They can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights.

Gash & Associates: Your Trusted Employment Discrimination Firm

At Gash & Associates, P.C., we understand the challenges faced by pregnant employees who experience discrimination in the workplace. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the rights of workers who feel they have been unfairly treated or harassed based on their pregnancy. If you believe you have experienced pregnancy work discrimination in Westchester County, contact us at (914) 328-8800 for a confidential consultation. We are here to provide the legal support you need to seek justice and ensure fair treatment in the workplace.