Pregnancy discrimination is a form of employment discrimination and is illegal. An employer cannot discriminate against an employee on the basis of her pregnancy status. Pregnancy discrimination includes inappropriate treatment or harassment of a pregnant employee. If you are unsure whether or not you are experiencing pregnancy discrimination, please review some examples below.
NJLAD Protects Pregnant Employees
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protects employees from discrimination in the workplace. This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, age, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, disability, pregnancy, or military status. Under the NJLAD, pregnant women cannot be discriminated against at work for their pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related medical conditions.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination
- Firing a pregnant employee or not hiring a pregnant applicant
An employer cannot discriminate against or fire a pregnant employee because of her pregnancy status. An employer cannot refuse to hire an employee solely because she is pregnant.
- Harassing a pregnant employee
Harassment of a pregnant employee might include comments, actions, or behaviors in the office. Any severe and pervasive behaviors about an employee’s pregnancy that create a hostile work environment for the pregnant employee may constitute harassment. Pregnant employees should feel safe and protected in the workplace.
- Not providing reasonable accommodations
A pregnant employee must receive reasonable accommodations for her pregnancy during her employment. Pregnant employees shall receive the same level of accommodations awarded to their coworkers with medical impairments.
- Forcing an employee to take time off
An employer cannot force an employee to take time off because the employee is pregnant. This is discriminatory behavior and unacceptable in the workplace.
- Changing an employee’s role/responsibilities because of pregnancy status
The pregnant employee and the employee’s doctor are best suited to decide the capabilities of the pregnant employee. Therefore, an employer should not change an employee’s role or responsibilities solely based on her pregnancy status.
- Rejecting pregnancy-related Medical Leave
The State of New Jersey and federal law set out guidelines for pregnancy-related medical leave. Employers cannot disregard these statutes.
- Retaliating against an employee who claims pregnancy discrimination
If an employee claims or reports pregnancy discrimination, an employer cannot retaliate against the pregnant employee.
This list of examples is by no means exhaustive. Pregnancy discrimination can take many forms.
If you are experiencing any of these unlawful actions, please know you are not alone. Your pregnancy should be a beautiful time for you and your family. You should not be worried about losing your job or facing discrimination.
Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys at McOmber & McOmber, P.C. Advocate on Behalf of Victims of Pregnancy Discrimination
If any of the above examples seem like your experience at work, please let us help you. At McOmber & McOmber, P.C., we are dedicated to fighting against any form of discrimination in the workplace. The 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.