Providence, Rhode Island Employment Law Attorneys
Fighting For Victims of Pregnancy Discrimination
- Were you asked about your pregnancy in a job interview and then denied the job?
- Were you fired from your job or pressured to quit soon after you informed your supervisor of your pregnancy?
- Were you harassed or treated differently from other employees because of your pregnancy, or because you just gave birth?
If so, you are among the large number of women in Rhode Island and across the country who have suffered pregnancy discrimination. In the past few years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has seen a huge increase in the number of pregnancy discrimination complaints it receives. Despite the legal protections afforded pregnant women, they are still treated unfairly by employers for a variety of reasons. Pregnant women must be allowed to work, as long as they are physically capable of performing their job.
The employment law attorneys at Robinson & Clapham provide zealous advocacy on behalf of women who have been discriminated against because of their pregnancy or the birth of a child. Contact our law firm to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers in our Providence or Wakefield, Rhode Island offices.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, provides that:
Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII. Women affected by pregnancy or related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations.
Maternity Leaves - What Does the Law Require?
An employer is not required to provide any maternity leave unless it has more than 50 employees. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers with more than 50 employees must give their employees 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave. While few employers provide paid maternity leaves, women can use their accrued vacation and sick time during a pregnancy-related FMLA leave.
Pregnant Women Must Be Treated Like Other Employees
If a woman is medically unable to work because of a pregnancy-related medical condition, she must be treated the same as other employees who are temporarily disabled. If an employer provides other temporarily disabled employees with leave beyond the required three months, it must also do so for women who are unable to work because of a pregnancy or birth. For example, if a company held a job open for six months for an employee who had heart bypass surgery, but refused to allow a woman to return to work after she was disabled for four months as a result of a pregnancy, this would constitute pregnancy discrimination.
An employer cannot have a rule which prohibits women from returning to work for a certain period following the birth of a child or requiring.
If you think you have been discriminated against because of your sex, gender, pregnancy or birth, contact an employment law attorney at Robinson & Clapham for legal help with your pregnancy discrimination claim. We have successfully helped many employees recover compensation for illegal employment discrimination in Rhode Island.