Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville

Many women continue to face discrimination in the workplace, especially women who are pregnant or plan to have children. Pregnancy discrimination occurs when a female employee or job applicant receives unfair treatment due to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.

The Baror Law Firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of women in the workplace. If you were fired, demoted, denied a promotion or harassed because of your pregnancy, we can help you obtain just compensation.

Maryland Pregnancy Discrimination Laws

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy in all aspects of employment such as hiring, firing, compensation, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, employee benefits and any other terms and conditions of employment. 

Additionally, employers are also required to treat pregnant women who are temporarily unable to perform their jobs no differently than other temporarily disabled employees. At the same time, pregnant workers must be allowed to perform their job duties as long as they are able to during their pregnancy. Employers may not force pregnant employees to leave work at a certain point or for a specific period of time.

Finally, many states' laws provide greater protection than the PDA to women who are pregnant, have given birth or suffer a related medical condition, and employers can be held liable for treating pregnant workers less favorably than other employees.

Medical Leave

The PDA requires employers to allow a woman who is temporarily disabled because of her pregnancy to take a disability leave if other employees with temporary disabilities are permitted to do so. In addition, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), both mothers and fathers are eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid or paid leave to care for a new child. Pregnant women who are on leave must also be given the ability to accrue seniority, paid time off and other related benefits in the same way as employees who are on leave for reasons not related to pregnancy.

Accommodations for Pregnant Workers

Although a normal pregnancy without complications is not considered a disability under the PDA, a woman who suffers a medical condition related to the pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, may be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employer may be required to provide a reasonable accommodation to the employee, such as a leave of absence or a modification to allow the employee to perform her job.

Pregnancy Harassment

Under the PDA, it is illegal to harass a woman because of pregnancy,  childbirth or a related medical condition. Harassment occurs when a supervisor, co-worker, client or customer makes inappropriate or unwanted comments. Harassment that is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment or that results in an adverse employment action, such as a termination or demotion, is unlawful.

Reasons for Pregnancy Discrimination 

Many employers believe that a pregnant woman may not be able to perform her duties adequately or that leaves taken under the FMLA are disruptive, costly and an inconvenience to other workers. For this reason, employers often engage in various forms of pregnancy discrimination, including: 

  • Refusing to hire a pregnant woman or a woman who may become pregnant
  • Firing, demoting or not promoting a pregnant employee
  • Changing a pregnant worker's job duties
  • Disciplining a pregnant worker who requests to leave for medical appointments
  • Giving unfavorable performance reviews to a pregnant woman with a good track record
  • Eliminating a position when a worker returns from leave

How to Fight Pregnancy Discrimination

In order to have a valid claim, you must be able to show that you were treated differently or suffered an adverse employment action due to your pregnancy. Before you file a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit under federal law, you must file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the claim is not resolved by the EEOC, then you can pursue the matter in court. 

Family Responsibility Discrimination

Family responsibilities discrimination is a form of discrimination based on how those with family care giving duties are perceived and treated. At times, an employer may assume that new parents, often the mothers, may not be committed to their jobs. Similarly, a worker who is caring for an aging parent may face similar stereotypes.   

While federal law does not specifically protect these workers from adverse employment actions, Title VII, the Family Medical Leave Act, and state laws can be leveraged to protect those with family responsibilities. If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your familial status or duties, our team will fight to protect your rights.

Dedicated Pregnancy Discrimination & Family Responsibility Attorneys in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville and Gaithersburg

The Baror Law Firm has extensive experience pursuing claims before the EEOC and successfully litigating cases in state and federal court. If you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, there are a number of possible remedies. For example, an employer that refused to hire you may be required to offer you the job. If you were fired because of your pregnancy, the employer may rehire you. Finally, you may also be able to recover compensation. We also routinely assist those with family responsibilities obtain the compensation and benefits they deserve, including a potential accommodation for their family needs. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

The Baror Law Firm serves pregnancy/family responsibility discrimination clients throughout Maryland including Bethesda, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, and Rockville. If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against for being pregnant or for a family responsibility matter, give us a call at 301.812.4546 or fill out the contact form on the side of the page. 

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| Phone: 301.812.4546

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