EEOC Lawsuit Reveals that Pregnancy Discrimination in New York and Elsewhere Can Take Many Forms

file8461275984896 morguefile username wallyir.jpgThe United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has accused a South Carolina trucking company of engaging in pregnancy discrimination and retaliation against a former employee. According to a lawsuit filed in federal district court, a manager at Kenan Advantage Group forced the woman to take a leave of absence from work until after the birth of her child when she was about seven and a half months pregnant. After the woman complained and threatened to file a pregnancy discrimination complaint, the company allegedly terminated her.

A representative for the EEOC stated the agency filed the case because federal law prohibits an employer from discriminating against a female employee based upon her pregnancy status. It is also unlawful for employers to retaliate against a worker who files a discrimination complaint. After settlement negotiations with the company reportedly failed, the EEOC asked the federal court to award back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages to Kenan Advantage Group’s former employee. The EEOC also asked the court to issue an injunction against future discrimination.

The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers operating in New York and elsewhere from firing or demoting a woman because she is pregnant. Under the act, an employer must provide reasonable accommodations to a pregnant worker where the adjustment will not result in undue hardship to business operations. In addition, the New York Human Rights Law makes it unlawful for an employer in New York to fire a female employee based on her pregnancy status. At the municipal level, a law that prohibits employers in New York City from discriminating against a woman based upon her pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition was recently signed into law and will go into effect in January 2014.

When a manager or employer treats a pregnant worker negatively due to her pregnancy status or a related medical condition, pregnancy discrimination has occurred. Discriminatory behavior is not always easy to identify and may include an employer who refuses to provide reasonable accommodations such as bathroom breaks to a pregnant employee, a manager who fires, demotes, or otherwise punishes a pregnant worker over a pregnancy-related medical leave request, and many other circumstances. If you suffered workplace discrimination after you became pregnant, you are advised to discuss your rights with an experienced employment lawyer.

The hardworking attorneys at Phillips & Associates have many years of experience representing the victims of pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment in New York City and surrounding areas. At Phillips & Associates, our caring lawyers are available to help you protect your rights at the municipal, state, and federal levels. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a capable advocate, please give our skilled attorneys a call today at (212) 248-7431 or contact Phillips & Associates through our website.

More Blog Posts:

New York City Council Passes Law to Protect Pregnant Workers, New York Employment Attorney Blog, October 8, 2013
New York Women Allege Same-Sex Harassment by Manager in Two Separate Lawsuits, New York Employment Attorney Blog, October 1, 2013
Additional Resources:

Kenan Transport Sued for Pregnancy Discrimination and Retaliation, truckinginfo.com

Photo credit: wallyir, morgueFile

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