Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys New York City

Expecting a baby is a very special time for a woman. But for some women, their pregnancy predisposes them to unfair or unequal treatment in the workforce. It is illegal for any employer to fire an employee because she is pregnant. The employer can not change the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. It is also illegal for an employer to fire an applicant because she is pregnant. You may have a wrongful termination case if your employer fired you because you are pregnant. At Derek Smith Law Group our pregnancy discrimination attorneys represent women in cases of pregnancy discrimination in New York. Our lawyers can help you determine whether you have a strong case, what your claims might be worth. Call (212) 587-0760 today to schedule a free consultation if you want to speak with an attorney about pregnancy discrimination.

What is Pregnancy Discrimination? 

Federal and New York laws protect pregnant employees from discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a woman unfairly because she is pregnant or because of a medical condition associated with her pregnancy. Anytime you are not afforded even a reasonable accommodation, you are fired or not promoted because of your pregnancy, you may have a pregnancy discrimination case against your employer. New York City Discrimination Laws are so much more protective of employees with respect to Pregnancy discrimination. For example comments or conduct that may not be considered Pregnancy discrimination under the state or Federal law, may be covered by New York City. New York City has some of the best employment laws for people subject to discrimination based on their Pregnancy.

What is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act? | EEOC and Pregnancy Discrimination

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 is a United States federal statute. The Act covers discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to “prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.” Under Title VII, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sexual discrimination. Our New York City pregnancy discrimination attorneys can advise you of your rights under these laws. While these laws have been set up for the protection of pregnant workers, they at times can be cumbersome and complex. If you feel you have been discriminated against on the job due to your pregnancy in New York City contact our pregnancy discrimination lawyers to assist you in your pregnancy EEOC claim or your pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The consultation is free and our pregnancy discrimination attorneys charge no fee unless we recover for you in your pregnancy discrimination case.

Can an employer refuse to hire someone because they are pregnant?

An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy, because of a pregnancy-related condition, or because of the prejudices of co-workers, clients, or customers. An employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for special procedures to determine an employee’s ability to work while pregnant.
It is illegal to discriminate against an employee based on their pregnancy in any term or condition of employment, such as compensation pay, raises, promotions, hiring, firing, benefits, etc. Furthermore, under New York State & New York City laws it is illegal to retaliate against someone because they have complained about Pregnancy Discrimination.

Available remedies in a Pregnancy discrimination lawsuit may include lost wages, emotional distress, punitive damages, and attorneys fees.

New York Laws prohibit pregnancy discrimination

What does the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) do?
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects pregnant employees and mothers who have recently given birth against discrimination and also provides a framework for how pregnant women should be treated on the job including the following guidelines:

  • Pregnant women must be treated the same as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations
  • An employer cannot refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant as long as she is able to perform the job
  • An employer can only require pregnant workers to submit a doctor note excusing their inability to work if they require all employees to do the same
  • Pregnant employees must be permitted to work as long as they are able to perform their jobs
  • Employers must hold open a job for pregnancy-related absences the same length of time jobs are held open for employees on sick or disability leave
  • Employers have to allow pregnant employees to make changes to their work duties or schedule in order to stay healthy
  • Employees with pregnancy-related disabilities must be treated the same as other temporarily disabled employees with respect to pay and benefits


These changes needed for some pregnant employees are called “reasonable accommodations”. Under the new law (PWFA), most employers in New York City must provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.
If you feel you are not receiving reasonable accommodations from your employer the New York City pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC can inform you of all the rights protecting pregnant women in the workforce. Know all the facts before proceeding with your legal case, an experienced pregnancy discrimination attorney in New York City can answer your questions and tailor a personal legal strategy for your pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. Employers will have attorneys on their side; you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to have the tough and thorough New York City pregnancy discrimination lawyers from the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC fighting for you.

Your Rights as a Pregnant Employee in New York

 Under New York law, pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, but may also be a form of familial status discrimination. The New York Human Rights Law (“NYHRL”) prevents employers with fifteen (15) or more employees from discriminating against a pregnant individual.

Under NYHRL, pregnancy discrimination is defined as any adverse action against an employee because the employee is pregnant, intends to become pregnant, recently was pregnant or recently gave birth. This is often in the form of termination, demotion, unwanted transfer, denial of overtime, unwanted reduction in work schedule, or adverse actions relating to the terms, conditions or privileges of employment. In 1974 a New York Court of Appeals ruled the medical needs of women who are pregnant, or who have recently given birth must be treated the same as other employees.

Since 1997, The NYHRL has required employers to provide reasonable accommodations for the medical needs of employees with disabilities, to include pregnancy. In 2015, New York Courts ruled that  “pregnancy-related” medical conditions must also be accommodated. While a pregnancy-related condition is treated as temporary disability, any medically-advised restriction or need related to pregnancy will trigger the need to accommodate.

A reasonable accommodation is an accommodation that does not cause the employer undue hardship. Undue hardship generally means a significant difficulty or expense to the employer. When looking at an undue hardship, the Court generally considers the following relevant factors such as, overall size of the business, the type of operation of the business and the nature and cost of the accommodations.

In order to file a complaint, an employee who feels they have been discriminated against because they are pregnant must file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights or the EEOC. Because of the complications of filing the proper pregnancy claim, please contact our experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group PLLC, who have years of experience filing claims based on pregnancy discrimination.

Your Rights as a Pregnant Employee in New York City

In an effort to combat pregnancy discrimination, New York City has passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”).

The PWFA protects pregnant employees and mothers who have recently given birth in New York City against discrimination and also provides a framework for how pregnant women should be treated on the job. The PFWA creates the following guidelines:

  • Pregnant women must be treated the same as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations.
  • An employer cannot refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant as long as she is able to perform the job.
  • An employer can only require pregnant workers to submit a doctor note excusing their inability to work if they require all employees to do the same.
  • Pregnant employees must be permitted to work as long as they are able to perform their jobs.
  • Employers must hold open a job for pregnancy-related absences the same length of time jobs are held open for employees on sick or disability leave.
  • Employers have to allow pregnant employees to make changes to their work duties or schedule as a reasonable accommodation.
  • Employees with pregnancy-related disabilities must be treated the same as other temporarily disabled employees with respect to pay and benefits.

These changes needed for some pregnant employees are called “reasonable accommodations”. Under the new law (PWFA), most employers in New York City must provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.

Contact our New York City Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys for a free consultation

Laws prohibiting pregnancy discrimination in New York City mandate that male and female workers must be treated equally in the workplace, including work rules and compensation. If you have questions about the rights of pregnant women in the workplace, the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC pregnancy discrimination attorneys in New York City can advise you. If you need a pregnancy discrimination lawyer in New York City or need to speak with pregnancy discrimination lawyer regarding other cases of discrimination, call our toll-free number (212) 587-0760 today or please fill out the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group are your Number One resource for employment law conflicts in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island and throughout New York. We solely represent employees in pregnancy discrimination disputes, staunchly advocating for pregnancy discrimination victims’ right to a fair workplace. Contact our any of our offices today for a FREE CONSULTATION with our pregnancy discrimination attorneys in New York. We charge no fee unless we recover for you.

The following links lead to information about common types of discrimination in the workplace: