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New York Pregnancy Discrimination and Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for above-the-bar-logo-no12.jpgIf you are pregnant, willing and able to work, actively searching for employment, and also fulfill the criteria set forth below, you are eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits (“UIB”). It is against Federal and State law to discriminate against or deny you UIB because you are pregnant.

UIB provides eligible workers with temporary income while they are actively searching for their next job. In order to be eligible for UIB, New York State law provides that you meet the following criteria:

  • You are able and available for work and are actively seeking employment;
  • You are not subject to any disqualifications or suspensions of benefits. For example, if you are retired, receiving a pension and are not actively searching for employment, you are not eligible for UIB;
  • You worked and were paid wages for employment in at least two calendar quarters in your base period and were paid at least $1,600 in wages in one of the calendar quarters;
  • You lost your job due to lack of work, reduction in the work force, company downsizing, or restructuring. You are ineligible for UIB if you quit your job or your were fired for violating company policy, procedure or for insubordination; and
  • Your previously established benefit year has expired.

If you meet the above criteria, your pregnancy has no bearing on your right to collect UIB. In fact, you are not required to disclose your pregnancy unless it affects your ability to perform your job in your usual field of work. If your pregnancy prevents you from working, then you must inform the Telephone Claims Center. For example, if you are pregnant and lost your job and your physician says that due to pregnancy related medical reasons, you are unable to work, you cannot file a claim for UIB.

If you are being denied your right to UIB because you are pregnant or for any other discriminatory reasons, contact our experienced Labor and Employment Law Attorneys at (800) 893-9645 to determine if you have a valid claim. Our attorneys have helped thousands of employees collect their rightful benefits.


Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

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