Marjorie Mesidor is a partner at Phillips & Associates who focuses her practice on the representation of individuals in employment discrimination lawsuits. Ms. Mesidor has been deemed a Rising Star and a Top Woman Attorney by Super Lawyers, a rating service that recognizes outstanding attorneys, on numerous occasions. Ms. Mesidor recently advised Super Lawyers as to the rights the law affords a pregnant woman working in New York.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act
It is an unfortunate fact that many women face discrimination in the workplace due to pregnancy. As Ms. Mesidor indicated, however, the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects pregnant women from discriminatory acts in the workplace. Thus, if you are pregnant, your employer is not permitted to deal with you differently than other employees simply because you are pregnant. Notably, the PDA is only applicable in cases where the employer has at least fifteen employees. There are additional state and local laws that afford protection from discrimination to pregnant workers as well, however. Ms. Mesidor noted some examples of discrimination pregnant women experience in the workplace include reduced pay, a reduction in duties or denial of a promotion, being reassigned to another position, and termination.
Accommodations for Health Issues that Arise During Pregnancy
Many women experience complications or other health issues during pregnancy, that require them to work a modified schedule. As Ms. Mesidor noted, under both state and federal disability laws, pregnancy is a short-term disability. As such, pregnant women can request reasonable accommodations during their pregnancies, and in many cases, the employer is required to provide such accommodations. Examples of accommodations generally requested due to pregnancy include lighter duty and shorter or adjusted hours. If you are pregnant and your request for a reasonable accommodation from your employer was denied, you may have grounds to pursue a discrimination claim against your employer.
Family Medical Leave Following a Child’s Birth
Ms. Mesidor stated that in many cases, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will require an employer to grant a woman time off after her child is born. Under the FMLA, employers with fifty or more employees are obligated to provide up to twelve weeks of unpaid medical leave for the birth or adoption of a child, and for foster placement. To qualify for FMLA leave, the employee seeking leave must have been employed by the employer for a minimum of twelve months in the past seven years and must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in those twelve months. Employees who take leave under the FMLA can keep their health insurance during their leave and can return to their job at the end of their leave. In some cases, New York employees are granted leave by the New York Paid Family Leave Law (NYPFLL) as well.
Meet with a Seasoned New York Employment Discrimination Attorney to Discuss Your Options
Pregnant employees are protected from discrimination by state and federal law. If you faced discrimination from your employer because of your pregnancy you should meet with a seasoned New York employment discrimination attorney to discuss your options for seeking compensation. Ms. Mesidor and the knowledgeable employment discrimination attorneys of Phillips & Associates will work diligently to help you seek any damages you may be owed. We can be reached through our online form or at (212) 248-7431 to schedule a meeting to discuss your case. We assist women in pregnancy discrimination claims in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, and in New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.