Workers in New York are protected from discrimination in many types. Race, religion, sex, country of origin and sexual orientation are all things that a company cannot use to discriminate when hiring, firing or promoting employees. What many not know is that according to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is also illegal to discriminate against a pregnant woman under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Discrimination can come in many forms and involve many aspects of the job. These include the following:

  • Firing
  • Hiring
  • Job assignments
  • Promotions
  • Fringe benefits like health insurance and leave
  • Training

Any condition or term of employment cannot be used to discriminate against a pregnant woman. If you are pregnant and applying for a job, you do not have to disclose that information and if you feel it is used against you when hiring decisions are made, you may have a case against the employer.

If you are unable to perform your job duties temporarily, you should be treated the same way another temporarily disabled employee should be treated. For example, you may be given alternative assignments, light duty, unpaid leave or disability leave if the same thing is offered to other disabled employees.

Parents are also entitled to 12 weeks of leave (unpaid or paid depending on the employer) once they add a new member to their family. This also applies to foster and adoptive parents. To be eligible for this leave, you must have at least 12 months of working with the company and the company must have a certain number of employees.

If you decide to add to your family and are concerned about how it will affect your job, it is a good idea to better understand the laws regarding pregnancy discrimination. Speaking to an employment lawyer can help to protect your job while you are expecting.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.