What to Do If You Are Experiencing Pregnancy Discrimination in Your New Jersey Workplace

If you are pregnant, you may be eagerly awaiting your child’s birth. This is the joy of pregnancy that can turn to distress when somebody at work discriminates against you for being pregnant. Thankfully, state and federal law protects your rights and gives you options when your employer treats you unfairly. Additionally, you can take a leave of absence under some laws without fear of being terminated. 

Unfortunately, the legal world has many complexities, and handling pregnancy discrimination by yourself rarely leads to a favorable outcome for you. That is why you should always consult New Jersey employment lawyers whenever you have employment-related issues you want to address. If you think you have been subjected to pregnancy discrimination in your workplace, have an attorney protect your interests and enforce your legal rights. 

Legal Protections for Pregnancy Workers

Federal and state law prohibits pregnancy discrimination. Generally, this means that pregnant workers should not be treated differently at work because of their pregnancy. Under the law, protections against pregnant workers include the following:

  • Pregnancy discrimination. This includes various acts such as refusing to hire you, declining promotions, reducing your pay, making harassing comments, changing work assignments, firing you, or intimidating you. 
  • Reasonable accommodation. Employers in New Jersey are required to make fair allowances for medical conditions related to pregnancy. These include letting pregnant women work flexible hours, handle appropriate work projects, or work remotely. An unreasonable workplace accommodation causes undue hardship to a pregnant employee.

Legal Remedies You Can Explore for Pregnancy Discrimination

If you think your employer discriminated against you for being pregnant, here are your legal options to make sure your rights are enforced:

  • File an administrative complaint. For discrimination issues, you can file a complaint with the EEOC or the Division on Civil Rights in New Jersey. Make sure you consult an attorney before you file. Such proceedings can help you resolve your claim through mediation.
  • File a lawsuit.  In New Jersey, you don’t need to exhaust administrative remedies before you file a lawsuit. Filing a discrimination lawsuit allows you to recover damages associated with your losses that result from the violations committed by your employer. These damages can include lost wages, emotional distress damages, attorney’s fees, punitive damages, and court costs. Additionally, you request reinstatement. Keep in mind that there are filing deadlines you must meet. You have 300 days to file a federal claim and two years to file a lawsuit after the wrongful conduct happened.  

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