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What are my rights as a pregnant employee in New York?

People often say you should know your rights in order to protect them. But the fact that there are perhaps dozens of laws that apply to each person's unique situation means that not everyone can be an expert on the law. This leads to a lot of questions, some which find their way on our blog.

One question is the one we're asking in our post title and one that could be on your mind right now: what are my rights as a pregnant employee in New York? In today's post, we'll take a look at the law, giving our readers a better idea of their rights.

Whether you were aware of this or not, pregnant women were given protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the passing of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This act prohibits discrimination of any woman because of pregnancy, child birth or pregnancy-related medical conditions. Discrimination can take on many forms including, but not limited to:

  • Docking or terminating pay
  • Cancelling health benefits
  • Denying leave
  • Passing up a pregnant employee for a promotion
  • Terminating a pregnant employee because of medical-related absences

What happens if I suspect that I am a victim of discrimination?

Because pregnancy discrimination is against both state and federal law, employees in New York do have the right to seek legal representation. A skilled employment law attorney will review a pregnant employee's case and determine if a discrimination claim can be made and what options to take as a result. Regardless of whether the female employee was fired or not, compensation may be owed, especially if her discrimination claim is found to have merit by a New York judge.

Source: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Pregnancy Discrimination," Accessed Aug. 27, 2015

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