While pregnancy can be the most exciting time in your life, it can also be physically and emotionally demanding. Pregnancy can make it more difficult to stand for a normal shift, or to work certain schedules. You may find you need to take additional breaks to perform your job, or you may find yourself taking extra trips to the bathroom. Being pregnant is difficult enough without having to worry about being punished at work for needing to make changes for your health and well-being. New Jersey has recently enacted additional protections for pregnant workers, so it’s important you understand your rights under the law. If your rights have been violated, you may have grounds to bring a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.
The Law Against Discrimination
In 2014, New Jersey amended and strengthened the Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to better protect pregnant employees. Women may require many accommodations due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical issues. These issues may be gestational diabetes or pregnancy-related hypertension. What is important to understand is that employees cannot request the accommodations unless their doctor has recommended them.
Employers are prohibited from taking a variety of actions due to a pregnancy including refusing to hire a pregnant applicant, firing a pregnant employee, or treating a pregnant employee less favorably. The LAD does not require the employer to have actual knowledge that the employee or applicant is pregnant. If the employer does know, the employer is prohibited from taking adverse actions. Additionally, employers are not allowed to retaliate against a pregnant employee for requesting an accommodation under the LAD.
Important Exceptions under the LAD
Employers do not have to provide every accommodation requested by the employee, even if the accommodation is clearly required by a doctor. The accommodations must be reasonable, and cannot cause an undue hardship on the employer. It can be difficult to determine what is considered an undue hardship. The court will typically consider factors related both to the business and to the type of accommodation requested in order to determine if it would cause an undue hardship to grant the accommodation.
If You’re a Victim – Contact a NJ Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy, you need to take action right away to determine if you have a pregnancy discrimination case. Since every case is different, you need to contact a knowledgeable NJ pregnancy discrimination attorney to help you determine if your rights have been violated.
John J. Zidziunas & Associates has experience working with women who believe they have suffered pregnancy discrimination. Contact them today at 973-509-8500 for a free phone consultation. They will help you determine if you have a case, so you can get what you deserve during this difficult time.