Case Demonstrates Dangers of Pregnancy Discrimination in New York and Elsewhere

278050_supermarket sxchu username ckforjc.jpgA 30-year-old general merchandise manager who is employed by a national grocery store chain has filed a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit in California. According to her complaint, the woman’s newborn died after her employer, Albertson’s supermarkets, refused to accommodate her high-risk pregnancy despite three separate notes from a physician. The 30-year-old’s manager reportedly ignored her requests for light duty work and refused to transfer her to another area of the store until after her child was born.

The worker claims she was required to work overtime and lift heavy items until she went into early labor in November 2012. On the day the woman went into labor, her request to leave work early due to pain in her stomach was allegedly denied. Two days later, the worker gave birth to a child after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Sadly, the infant died a few minutes later.

In addition to her pregnancy discrimination claim, the worker alleges that her employer retaliated against her for taking six weeks off of work pursuant to her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The woman claims she was written up and demoted from her role as a supervisor. According to her lawsuit, the woman continued working despite the risk because she could not afford to lose the income from her job. Additionally, her health insurance was apparently obtained through the grocery chain.

Although the woman’s complaint alleges that Albertson’s violated state law, pregnant women in New York and across the nation are also protected from discrimination by federal law. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 obliges all employers in the United States to provide pregnant employees with the same workplace adjustments individuals with a disability receive. This means an employer is required to offer reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers as long as doing so will not result in undue hardship.

When an employer treats a pregnant worker in a negative manner due to her pregnancy or a medical condition that is related to her pregnancy, pregnancy discrimination has occurred. Despite that employers in New York and throughout the country are forbidden from discriminating against a pregnant worker, it still happens. Pregnancy discrimination can take many forms. Discriminatory behavior may include an employer who refuses to accommodate a pregnant worker as allegedly occurred in this situation. In addition, a supervisor who disciplines, demotes, or terminates a pregnant employee over a pregnancy-related medical leave request, a situation in which a worker’s opportunity for advancement is directly impacted by her pregnancy status, and other unlawful circumstances also constitute pregnancy discrimination. If you suffered workplace discrimination as a result of your pregnancy, you are advised to discuss your rights with a quality attorney.

The experienced lawyers at Phillips & Associates represent the victims of pregnancy discrimination and workplace sexual harassment in New York City and surrounding areas. At Phillips & Associates, our dedicated attorneys will fight to protect your rights at the municipal, state, and federal levels. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a caring advocate, please call our hardworking lawyers at (212) 248-7431 today. You may also contact us through our website.

More Blog Posts:

NYPD Officer Claims She Suffered Retaliation for Reporting Co-Worker Sexual Harassment, New York Employment Attorney Blog, June 20, 2013
New Report Claims Pregnancy Discrimination in New York and Elsewhere is on the Rise, New York Employment Attorney Blog, June 17, 2013
Additional Resources:

Albertsons Worker Claims Chain Is Responsible For Death Of Her Baby, by Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post

Photo credit: ckforjc, Stock.xchng

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