New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Pregnant Women's Rights against Discrimination in New York

Author: discrimination attorney Alena Shautsova

Many women are in the workforce today, and despite holding jobs, many also plan on having families. Is it fair for an employer to deny women the same rights as other employees when they become pregnant? The answer is "no." Various laws that protect women's rights in New York include:

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL)

While both federal and state laws protect women's rights, New York laws offer pregnant women the most protection. The PDA is a federal law that applies to employers with 15 or more employees. However, the NYHRL, a state law, applies to employers with four or more employees. The time limit for filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (a federal agency) is 180 days after the most recent discrimination incident. By comparison, under New York law women have up to three years to file a claim. Federal law limits damages to $50,000, and under state law, there is no limit for damages being sought.

Example of a women's rights discrimination case

CNY Central reported an example of a pregnancy discrimination case in New York that occurred in 2011 involving a Syracuse mortuary school president and an institute of funeral services. Students sued them, alleging sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. The institute had a discriminatory policy that excluded pregnant women from the institute's educational program without first consulting them and also without adequate justification.

If you believe you may be a victim of pregnancy discrimination, speak with a skilled New York discrimination lawyer. An attorney can explain your rights and help you take legal action.

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