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-

Continue Reading

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-

Continue Reading

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-

Continue Reading

5 Common Manifestations of Illegal Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

handshake

Gender discrimination in the workplace is illegal, and occurrences are more regular than you may think. In fact, some forms of gender discrimination are so subtle that you may not even realize that you’ve been discriminated against. The Pew Research Center released the statistics on gender discrimination in the United States back in December 2017. Here are five common ways that you may experience or be experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace. Position Bias Unfortunate as it may be, there still exists a cultural belief that some genders are better in certain jobs than others. For example, a woman might seem like a better fit as a secretary or nurse than a man. Likewise, a man might seem like a better fit as a boss or doctor than a woman.   We all know this cultural bias exists, and it’s important to realize that position bias truly impacts both genders. Everyone is legally allowed the right to work in their chosen career field. Interview Questions If you’re in an interview and you are asked questions about whether you plan on having kids and raising a family, that’s a form of gender discrimination. Even though both males and females can parent evenly, it’s often the maternity leave time and additional insurance expenses that perpetuate this line of questioning. No matter what the motive, even if it seems like small talk, these kinds of questions are illegal. Pay and Benefits It has been studied and documented that women in many industries receive-

Continue Reading

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-

Continue Reading

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-

Continue Reading

Five Things to Do if You are Being Sexually Harassed at Work

In a Meeting

As much as we wish it weren’t the case, sexual harassment in the workplace is still a surprisingly common and disturbing experience. Fortunately, there are laws and protections in place to help ensure those who are sexually harassed are able to demand a safe and fair workplace. If the victim is not granted relief, the harasser and/or the employer can be sued in a court of law. Sexual harassment can include a wide variety of different things including harassing comments, persistent sexual advances, inappropriate touching, and more. It can also include actions like having managers only invite the men to a team building event, or only giving promotions to females. If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, make sure you do the following five things to protect yourself and your legal rights. Protect Yourself The first, and most important thing to do is make sure that you are safe. If you are being physically threatened or touched in dangerous way, remove yourself from the situation. All the other tips in this post are secondary to this one. Protecting yourself could mean going immediately to your boss, calling the police, or just leaving work and not coming back until you are safe. Learn Your Corporate Policies Virtually all companies today have an official policy on sexual harassment. In addition to forbidding inappropriate actions, the policy will also tell you how you should handle reporting it, and what obligations you have to fulfill. As soon as possible, become familiar with-

Continue Reading

A Brief Guide to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)

Pregnant woman

Few things can bring as much excitement and joy to your life as learning that you are pregnant. For far too many women, however, that joy is quickly stifled when they begin experiencing discrimination from their employer. Fortunately, there are legal protections in place that can help to guarantee your rights in these situations – but you need to know what your rights are, and how to demand them. Specifically, learning about the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is a great way to understand your rights. What is the PDA? The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was originally passed in 1978, and is a part of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act is designed to help protect the rights of the millions of women who may become pregnant at some point during their careers. It is a fairly extensive piece of legislation, which governs virtually all aspects of employment including hiring, promotions, pay, firing, disciplinary actions, and employment benefits. This act applies to all employers that have fifteen or more employees. Although smaller employers aren’t covered under this act, however, they can’t legally directly discriminate against pregnant women either. What Rights Does it Protect? The PDA offers many protections against discrimination, which pregnant women are often a victim of. These protections apply not only to women who are pregnant, but also those who may become pregnant. Some specific rights that are protected include: Getting Fired – Employers may not terminate employment because you file a complaint against them for-

Continue Reading

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.-

Continue Reading

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-

Continue Reading