Thinking About a Baby? Know Your Rights in the Workplace
If you are pregnant or planning on a pregnancy, it is easier to navigate the workplace when you know your rights.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects your rights throughout the employment cycle in companies with 15 employees or more. Across New York, our law firm works with clients who suffer discriminatory actions based on a pregnancy.
Whether you are looking for a job or already employed, keep these points in mind about pregnant women in the workforce.
- Company policy: Check out the written policies of your company if you intend to become pregnant. Knowing your responsibilities and what to expect from your employer helps you understand what is ahead.
- The interview: You cannot be denied a job based on a pregnancy, or a plan to become pregnant. Questions about your marital status, children or expected children, childcare or family planning should not be posed by potential employers. Before an interview, consider how you might answer, avoid or redirect inappropriate questions.
- Job performance: Under the PDA, you cannot be fired, passed over for promotion, or demoted if you become pregnant. You must perform the responsibilities of your job as long as you are able. If you become unable to perform tasks as expected, you must be accorded the same rights and protections as other temporarily disabled employees. You cannot be required by your employer to take pregnancy leave before you choose.
- Retaliation: If you pursue a complaint process due to discriminatory treatment during your pregnancy, it is against the law for your employer to prohibit, deter or punish you for participating in the investigation of your charges.
Knowing what to expect — with pregnancy, or in the workplace — is essential. If you suffer pregnancy discrimination, speak with an experienced employment law attorney.