The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination based upon “familial status”. It also prohibits discrimination based upon gender. Since, at least given the current limits of science, only a woman can become pregnant and carry a child, discrimination based on pregnancy is a version of gender discrimination and is illegal under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, as well as under Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act.
In addition, the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) also require mandatory protected leave right for the birth, adoption or care of a child.
Discrimination based upon pregnancy can often take many forms and can often “hide” as an otherwise legitimate reason for the discrimination. Sometimes a woman who has been otherwise successful at her job will tell an employer that she’s pregnant, only to find that she suddenly doesn’t have as much work, her hours are cut, or that she is subjected to unfair micromanagement or petulant and sudden discipline, etc.
Sometimes, there are alternative explanations for the differential treatment, but other times those explanations are not honest and a substantial or motivating factor in the negative treatment and adverse job action is pregnancy.
Sometimes, as well, a pregnancy might involve a particular medical concern or issue that requires an accommodation by the employer for that medical issue while the female employee continues to work while pregnant. An employer is required to discuss, in a good faith interactive process, “reasonable accommodation” under the New Jersey LAD to allow for the woman to treat or recover from the pregnancy-related medical disability, even if it’s only temporary. An employer is not required to give unreasonable or unduly burdensome accommodation, but they are required to engage in a good faith interactive process with the employee to decide whether or not they can. If they can, they must, as long as it is reasonable.
For their entire careers, the attorneys at Costello & Mains, LLC, have been assisting women who are targeted for adverse job action such as termination, demotion or failure to promote. They know how to access and utilize state and federal protections against this type of pregnancy discrimination in the state and federal courts of New Jersey.
If you or a loved one has experienced this type of pregnancy discrimination or familial status discrimination, contact the Mount Laurel, New Jersey, attorneys at Costello & Mains, LLC Call 866-944-3371 (toll-free) or contact us online to arrange a confidential consultation.