In January 2014, the State of New Jersey amended its employee protections statute to include protections for pregnant employees or those who have been “affected by pregnancy.” New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJ LAD) makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals for sex-based reasons, including pregnancy. The NJ LAD specifically prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or any pregnancy-related medical conditions. Discrimination for any of these characteristics is considered to be a sub-category of sex-based discrimination.
In general, an employer cannot harass or treat an employee negatively based on pregnancy. This protection applies regardless of whether the employee is employed on a permanent, temporary, full-time, or part-time basis. Several examples of conduct that may constitute discrimination based on pregnancy include the following:
In addition to the NJ LAD, there are other laws available that may help victims of pregnancy discrimination. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy. The PDA is a federal law that applies to employers with 15 or more employees and requires them to give protected leave to employees who suffer a temporary disability related to pregnancy. In addition, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows for new parents to receive up to 12 weeks of leave in conjunction with taking care of a new child. This law applies to both mothers and fathers. Discrimination can come in many different forms, and either a single instance or a combination of discriminatory acts can create a valid claim under the NJ LAD, PDA, Title VII or the FMLA. To learn if your rights have been violated, contact The Mark Law Firm, LLC and speak to one of its qualified State and Federal Law attorneys.
If you have become the victim of unlawful discrimination, relief may be available for you. Judicial remedies can be found through the New Jersey State or Federal court system. You may be entitled monetary damages for the loss of your job, job reinstatement with back pay and interest, damages for pain and emotional distress, and payment of your attorney’s fees plus expenses, and possibly punitive damages. According to the PDA, under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you may file a Charge of Discrimination. According to the NJ LAD, you have the right to file a complaint with the Division of Civil Rights (DCR).
The Mark Law Firm, LLC handles pregnancy discrimination cases in both state and federal court. Our team of experienced attorneys are ready to review your case and guide you through your options. We are passionate about the law and believe our clients deserve our dedication to holding offenders accountable for their actions. If you have been discriminated against due to pregnancy, a perceived pregnancy, or the idea that you could become pregnant, contact The Mark Law Firm, LLC to serve your needs.