Pregnancy discrimination is illegal. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protects New Jersey employees from discrimination and harassment in the workplace from both their employers and their coworkers. This law protects New Jersey employees from discrimination based on race, national origin, age, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, disability, pregnancy, or military status. As a result, this New Jersey law prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee based on the employee’s pregnancy status or maternity needs. Under the NJLAD, employers have a responsibility to prevent pregnancy discrimination and provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodations. This prohibits employers from hiring or firing women solely because they are pregnant. However, this also protects pregnant women from experiencing pregnancy-related discrimination in the workplace.
What is Maternity Leave Discrimination?
Childbirth should be an exciting time for a pregnant woman and her family. Unlawful maternity discrimination occurs when there is discrimination relating to an employee’s maternity leave. If an employer offers leave for a temporarily disabled employee, the employer must also offer comparable leave for a pregnant employee. Also, the employer must hold the pregnant employee’s job open for the same length of time a position would be left open for an employee who is on leave due to a medical reason.
Further, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to leave for specific family or medical reasons. This grants eligible employees unpaid, job-protected leave. Eligible employees may take up to 12 work weeks of leave. Before granting leave or paying sick benefits, an employer may require its employees to present a statement from a doctor explaining the employee’s ability to work. If an employer requires a doctor’s statement from its employees when making these determinations, the employer may require a similar statement from pregnant employees.
Under the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) eligible employees may also take up to 12 weeks additional leave after the child is born to take care of the newborn child. Also, under the Family Leave Insurance provision of the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law, an eligible employee may also receive up to 6 weeks of benefits while taking care of a newborn or newly adopted child. NJ Family Leave Insurance allows new mothers to care for their newborns, while also providing these families with wage replacement benefits for a limited period of time. This allows new parents to care for their newborns or newly adopted babies without worrying about their jobs or their pay.
Examples of Maternity Leave Discrimination
- Refusing maternity leave
- Terminating an employee who has recently had a child
- Demoting an employee who has recently had a child
The birth of your child should be a beautiful time for you and your family. If you are facing pregnancy discrimination or maternity leave discrimination in your workplace, please give us a call. We can help you.
New Jersey Maternity Leave Discrimination Attorneys at McOmber & McOmber, P.C. Advocate on Behalf of Victims of Pregnancy Discrimination
Let us help you. At McOmber & McOmber, P.C., we are dedicated to fighting against any form of discrimination in the workplace. The Middletown pregnancy discrimination lawyers at McOmber & McOmber, P.C. can help you. Please call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, OR contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent all clients in Middletown, Cherry Hill, and throughout New Jersey.