Federal Law Prohibits Employers in New York and Elsewhere from Terminating a Worker Over Medical Leave Related to a Miscarriage

The United States Department of Labor’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has reportedly agreed to a $100,000 settlement on behalf of a clerk who was fired as a result of pregnancy discrimination after she miscarried in 2011. Platinum P.T.S. Inc., a Texas-based oil and gas testing and analysis firm, allegedly terminated the employee when she submitted a request for medical leave associated with an unexpected miscarriage. Following her termination, the employee filed a claim with the EEOC who later sued the company for violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.

According to EEOC Attorney David Rivela, it is important for employers across the nation to understand that it is unlawful to treat pregnant workers differently as a result of their condition. Rivela stated this includes pregnant workers who may unfortunately miscarry.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect pregnant women from workplace discrimination. The act prohibits employers from engaging in gender discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. In addition, the federal law makes it illegal for employers to terminate a worker solely because she became pregnant or suffered a pregnancy-related complication. In 2012, the EEOC received 3,745 pregnancy discrimination claims and recovered more than $14 million in settlements for the victims.

In New York, the state and city Human Rights Laws provide similar protections to pregnant workers. In general, the laws do not allow employers to make hiring decisions based on pregnancy and other protected statuses such as disability, marital status, race, and national origin.

Currently, female workers account for about half of the country’s workforce. An estimated 75 percent of employed women will become pregnant at some point during their career. Unlawful pregnancy discrimination occurs often and may take many forms. If you believe you were the victim of pregnancy discrimination in a New York workplace, you should contact a quality attorney.

The hardworking lawyers at Phillips & Associates have many years of experience representing individuals who have suffered pregnancy discrimination or workplace sexual harassment in New York City and surrounding areas. At Phillips & Associates, our dedicated attorneys are available to help you protect your rights at the local, state, and federal levels. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a caring advocate, do not hesitate to call our hardworking lawyers at (212) 248-7431 today. You may also feel free to contact us through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Long Island Medical Assistant Claims Her Former Employer Sexually Harassed Her, New York Employment Attorney Blog, July 26, 2013
NYPD Officer Claims She Suffered Retaliation for Reporting Co-Worker Sexual Harassment, New York Employment Attorney Blog, June 20, 2013
Additional Resources:

Platinum P.T.S. To Pay $100k to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit, U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission Press Release dated August 8, 2013

Suit settled in firing of worker who sought time off after miscarriage, by Judy Greenwald, Business Insurance


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