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What is Pregnancy Discrimination? Former Employee Wins $37,000 in a Settlement

Pregnancy.Discrimination.Woman.in.Office.Dollar.Photo.Club.12.5.15.jpgPregnancy discrimination is wrong. When an employee notifies her employer that she is pregnant, she should not have to fear termination or another form of reprisal. But, according to April Raines, that is exactly what happened to her.

Ms. Raines alleged that she was a skin care specialist at CFS Health Management Inc. DBA Shefa Wellness Center and was fired two days after she notified the Company’s owner that she was pregnant. Further, it was alleged that the owner of the Company told her that she had deceived the Company by not disclosing her pregnancy during the job interview. This conduct violates that Pregnancy Discrimination Act. After a lawsuit was filed the Company agreed to a settlement with a monetary payment of $37,000, and other conditions including training and posting notices. While the matter was settled, the Company denied any wrongdoing. This is just one example of difficulties that women face in the workplace.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Women affected by pregnancy or related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work.

Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination

Discriminatory Adverse Action: When a pregnant woman is disciplined for being absent at work because she had an appointment with her physician that was related to prenatal care. However, other employees who have disabilities unrelated to pregnancy were not disciplined when they had missed work for medical visits. In this scenario, the employer is singling out the pregnant employee for discipline.

Denial of Employment: When a female applicant tells an employer, upon being asked, that she is 2 months pregnant and is denied the job and told to re-apply once she has had the baby. First it is unlawful for an employer to ask whether an employee is pregnant or has children. Second, taking adverse action against an applicant or employee solely due to pregnancy is wrong.

Discriminatory Termination: When a female employee informs her employer that she is pregnant and is fired due to this fact; even though she has the capability to continue working for a few more months and return to work after the birth. This is the scenario described by Ms. Raines. Unfortunately, this is not a rare issue. It is important for affected individuals to speak up and assert their rights.

Thumbnail image for End.Discrimination.Sign.jpgIf you or someone you know is having problems in the workplace due to their pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, contact our Award Winning New York Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney for a confidential consultation. Each situation is different and the applicable laws can vary based on the circumstance. For example, the PDA is a federal law and applies to employers with 15 or more employees. That being said, state and local laws may apply to smaller employees. In addition, other federal laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act may also apply. Contact our office to learn how the law applies to your situations and your options and rights.

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