5 Things You Should Know About the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Pregnancy Whether you are currently pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, you should understand the basics of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This Act was created to help protect the rights of working mothers. Here are five important things that you should know about it: 1. It’s illegal for you to be denied a job because you are or could become pregnant. If you apply for a job and are fully able to perform the job, it is illegal for an employer to not hire you simply because you are or could become pregnant. 2. Pregnant employees must be permitted to work as long as they are able to do their job. If you can still perform your job, it’s illegal for your employer to tell you that you must begin your leave. You are entitled to work until you are no longer able to do your job or until you choose to take your leave. 3. Employers must treat your pregnancy just as they would treat standard injuries or illnesses. Always take a look at your company’s policy regarding injury and illness. If your company requires a doctor’s note for absences caused by illness, make sure that you have a note for them in regards to your illness. After recovering for a time, if your company requires a doctor’s release in order for you to come back to work, have that ready. Your company must treat your pregnancy (and any illness or injury that may come with it) exactly as they would treat an illness or injury leave of any other employee. – Read More “5 Things You Should Know About the Pregnancy Discrimination Act”

Gender Discrimination and Paternity Leave in New York

father and son The birth of a child is a beautiful and stressful time. Because of the recovery time necessary after pregnancy, employers expect that a woman will remain on maternity leave for a time and plan ahead for that time. They may offer a reasonable amount of time for the woman to heal, care for, and bond with her new baby. Frequently, however, this same courtesy is not extended to new fathers, and in New York state, this is illegal for a couple of reasons. Paid Family Leave Effective January 1, 2018, Paid Family Leave is available for most employees working in New York. It provides job-protected paid time off so you can: Bond with your new child, Care for a sick relative, or Help out when a family member is deployed for active military service According to the NY.gov website, “During 2018, you can take up to eight weeks of Paid Family Leave and receive 50% of your average weekly wage (AWW), capped at 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). Your AWW is the average of your last eight weeks of pay prior to starting Paid Family Leave. The SAWW is updated annually.” Be aware that over the next several years, the percentage of weekly compensation and the number of weeks of leave will increase. The plan is to receive 55% with 10 weeks in 2019, 60% with 10 weeks in 2020, and 67% with 12 weeks in 2021. Gender Discrimination Gender discrimination is illegal, whether you’re male or female. – Read More “Gender Discrimination and Paternity Leave in New York”

5 Tips for Negotiating a Longer Maternity Leave with Your Boss

Pregant couple Whether you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, your upcoming maternity leave may be on your mind. Some employers offer up to twelve weeks of maternity leave, but in some cases, this time is not enough. If you are thinking about negotiating for a longer maternity leave with your boss, follow these five tips. 1) Know Your Company’s Leave Policy Check your company’s employee handbook for information about maternity leave protocols. If your company doesn’t offer maternity leave, ask your human resources department. You may have other options available to you if you need to extend your leave past the allowable time frame. Crumiller P.C. can help you if you have questions about this. 2) Start Planning and Prioritizing Now You already know that you’re going to ask for more time off, so come up with a plan. Think about which coworkers could do components of your job while you’re on leave. Then, look ahead to try to determine if you have any particularly big projects that will need your attention while you are out. If you do find a situation where you are the only person who can complete a very important task, think about some sort of a compromise. Coming back part-time or with a modified work schedule might be an option that’s available. By thinking through all the possible scenarios now, you reduce the likelihood of being denied a longer maternity leave. If you present your HR or manager/boss with a plan on how things are going to be accomplished with the maternity leave in mind, your request will be more likely to be approved. – Read More “5 Tips for Negotiating a Longer Maternity Leave with Your Boss”

What You Need and How to Apply for the Paid Family Leave Benefits Coming to New York in 2018

Family silhouette If you are an employed New Yorker, you are paying into Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits. You can take PFL whenever you have a new child (whether through birth, adoption, or foster care), when you have to care for a family member, or when you are deployed by the military. In a previous blog, we discussed the eligibility requirements for PFL. In this blog, we’ll list the documents that you’ll need and how to apply for the PFL. If you believe or have been unfairly denied Paid Family Leave as required by New York state law, we are ready to fight for your rights. Please don’t hesitate to call us at (212) 390-8480. Important Disclaimer: This is meant to be a short guide; for the latest information on the process, please visit the New York State Department of Labor website. This process may vary from employer to employer, so be sure to contact your human resources department. What You’ll Need to Apply for PFL As you receive paperwork regarding your situation, collect it. Until you’re certain which documents your employer will require, it’s best to have them all. When applying for maternity leave, if you are the birth mother, you need your child’s birth certificate and documentation of your pregnancy or delivery from the health care provider (with your name and the baby’s due or birth date). If you are the second parent, you need a copy of the child’s birth certificate or a letter verifying paternity and a documentation of the pregnancy or delivery from the health care provider (listing the mother’s name and the baby’s due or birth date). – Read More “What You Need and How to Apply for the Paid Family Leave Benefits Coming to New York in 2018”

What are the Eligibility Requirements for Paid Family Leave in New York?

Newborn and Mom Having a baby is an exciting event in your life. Whether it is your first or you are already a seasoned parent, every new child is truly a blessing. One worry that many parents have, however, is how it will impact their employment. Fortunately for both moms and dads in New York, most employees will qualify for paid family leave. Learning about the eligibility requirements will help you to prepare for the future, and know what to expect in your position. The following eligibility requirements are the minimum requirements required by state law. Many employers have their own policies that are more generous than what is strictly required, so while this article will provide an excellent starting point, you should reach out to your manager or HR department to get the specific policy from your company. Hours Per Week & Years of Service In order to qualify for paid family leave, employees need to be with the company for a set amount of time, and work a minimum number of hours per week. The breakdown is as follows: Schedule of 20+ hours per week – Employees who have a regular work schedule of 20+ hours per week will qualify for paid family leave after they have been employed with the company for 26 weeks. Schedule of less than 20 hours per week – Any employee who is scheduled for less than 20 hours per week (on average) will qualify for this benefit after 175 days worked. Qualifying Events In most cases, paid family leave is used after giving birth to a child. – Read More “What are the Eligibility Requirements for Paid Family Leave in New York?”

6 Tips to Help Expecting Mothers Negotiate Maternity Leave

Pregnant Woman working on laptop If you are pregnant, or trying to become pregnant, you undoubtedly have a lot on your mind. For many working women, one of the biggest worries is job security with a growing family. While some companies offer up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave when an employee has a child, it is often possible to negotiate a better arrangement. Offering new moms the time they need to recover from childbirth, bond with their baby,, and spend time with their growing family is a great option for employers and employees . That said, it can still be a difficult conversation to have at work if you’re not prepared. The following six tips can help you successfully negotiate  to create the maternity leave that best suits you: Understand the Company’s Leave Policies First, it’s critical to read through your employee benefits handbook. This will help you learn what maternity leave options are available, so that you can ask for something better later; you want to enter the process with all the facts. If your company doesn’t currently offer maternity leave, research other leave options such as personal leaves of absence, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other alternatives such as modified work schedules. It may be possible work with your employer and adapt one of these options to meet your needs. Start the Process Now The earlier you start negotiation, the better. Giving your colleagues time to plan for your absence frequently makes it easier for managers to approve your request. Whether this means talking to your manager or HR team shortly after becoming pregnant, or while you’re trying to get pregnant, sooner is going to be better. – Read More “6 Tips to Help Expecting Mothers Negotiate Maternity Leave”

5 Red Flags for Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Pregnant businesswoman working in office Discrimination in the workplace isn’t always obvious. When employers and coworkers treat you differently because of your pregnancy, they may be doing so unconsciously or even out of (misplaced) concern for you — but in many cases, such treatment comes down to discrimination. If you’re pregnant, you’ve recently had a baby, or you’re considering starting a family in the near future, it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge of your employment rights. Take a look at the following scenarios for some common warning signs of pregnancy discrimination. 1) Everyone’s a critic. If your employers are gearing up to fire or demote you, they may start to build up justification through negative performance reviews. You may notice a suspiciously-timed increase in criticism, as well as a harsher tone and more variation in the type of negative feedback you receive. This treatment is always alarming, but is especially so if you generally enjoy good relationships with your co-workers and supervisors.. In rare cases, you may even notice complaints, backhanded or direct, about your performance specific to your pregnancy. 2) You’re feeling left out. Red flags don’t always show in the form of direct feedback or confrontation. When it comes to a deserted email inbox or an unusually blank calendar, you may note an absence of communication more than an abundance of criticism. If you’re missing out on meetings, networking events,  or other important communications that you would normally receive, you may be looking at a subtle symptom of pregnancy discrimination. 3) Your opportunities are dwindling. – Read More “5 Red Flags for Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace”

How to Negotiate With Your Jerk Boss: A Litigator’s Guide From the Trenches (Part I)

checklist Every woman who strives for success, to attain the best for herself and her family if she has one, must negotiate at some point in her life. Negotiation is scary and unpleasant for many, because it involves confrontation, and many people haven’t developed the skills yet to handle confrontation without stress. Negotiation with your boss is even worse: (A) you’re in the position of lesser power, and (B) you may feel like your ego is on the line. Negotiating with your boss is hard for everyone, but especially for women. Women who correctly assess their own worth, and make demands accordingly, are harshly evaluated. It’s not our place; we should be nicer (quieter); we should demand less; we’re less important, less valuable, less deserving. You know that is false, and so do I. But we also live in the real world and so, as savvy negotiators, we’re going to deftly incorporate navigating this bullshit to all the other stuff we have to do to achieve success. More money, more leave time, better benefits, more flexibility: it is there for you if you’ve done the preparation and you have the fortitude to demand it. To get the results you want, you need to engage your heart, your brain, your muscles, AND your steel ovaries. Ready? STEP ONE: DECIDE WHY. Step one is the “heart” step. Whether you want more money, time off, or something else, don’t start with figuring out the details. Figure out why this is important to you. Do you feel undervalued and it’s negatively impacting your self-worth? – Read More “How to Negotiate With Your Jerk Boss: A Litigator’s Guide From the Trenches (Part I)”

Pregnancy Rights Primer

Pregnant woman 2 Pregnancy rights are integral to the American economy and the American family. Better late than never, society is finally coming to recognize it. Women are smart, capable, and dedicated workers, and guess what – many of us have kids! New York City has one of the best pregnancy discrimination laws in the country. The New York City Human Rights Commission, which enforces them, issued some new guidelines last month. And this week, for the White House United State of Women Summit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a new fact sheet. This post is intended as a very basic primer on your rights under NYC and federal laws. The first step in enforcing your rights is knowing what they are. New York City NYC requires employers to reasonably accommodate pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions, without the need to prove “disability”. Related conditions includes things like pumping breast milk, abortion, and fertility treatment. Discrimination against pregnant workers is strictly prohibited. Note that discrimination isn’t always black and white. If an employer takes action against you, even in part because of your pregnancy, come talk to us – you may have a claim. This can mean anything from hostile remarks (including jokes) that make you uncomfortable, to demotion or firing. Any “lesser treatment” counts. If you need a reasonable accommodation for your pregnancy, the employer must participate in a “cooperative dialogue” to help find a workable solution that doesn’t pose an undue hardship. We can help you navigate this process. After giving birth, you are entitled to take reasonable leave. – Read More “Pregnancy Rights Primer”