Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys in Minneapolis
Our highly respected and nationally recognized attorneys at Nichols Kaster, PLLP have a track record defending the rights of pregnant employees in the workplace. Although federal and state law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, many employees continue to face mistreatment when their employer finds out they are pregnant or plan to start a family.
Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Minnesota and many other states have their own laws protecting employees from pregnancy discrimination.
Employers must treat pregnant employees the same as employees with temporary disabilities, as long as pregnancy does not interfere with the performance of the employees’ major job functions. Employers must also provide pregnant employees with the same benefits that they provide temporarily disabled employees, including time off and reasonable help with performing their job duties.
Employers may make employment decisions based on pregnancy if it is reasonably necessary to normal business operations. For example, a theater may prohibit pregnant stage hands from doing heavy lifting that exceeds the maximum weight allowed by their doctors. But employers may not use its business practices as a mere pretext to mask illegal pregnancy discrimination.
Pregnant employees also have a right to unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for newborn children and a right to have the same or a similar job when they return to work.
The following are common examples of employer conduct that can be grounds for a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit:
Transferring, demoting, harassing, or firing an employee because they are pregnant, about to take maternity leave, or just returned from maternity leave.
Denying pregnant employees the same health insurance coverage and other benefits that are available to employees who are not pregnant.
Forcing pregnant employees to perform tasks that their co-workers with temporary disabilities do not have to do.
Refusing to allow a pregnant employee who took time off for pregnancy-related issues to return to work until after the birth of their child.
Preventing a pregnant employee from returning to work for a fixed period after childbirth.
Asking potential employees during the interview process if they are pregnant or whether they plan to have children.
Paying an employee a lower wage or denying bonuses or commissions because they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Refusing to allow pregnant employees to take leaves for medical check-ups.
What Are My Rights in the Workplace as a Nursing Mother?
Employers are required to accommodate the needs of nursing employees by making reasonable efforts to provide time and access to adequate facilities for expressing breast milk (pumping). Your employer must provide you with reasonable break time and a private room or space that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public. Additionally, you cannot be harassed by your employer or coworkers because you are pumping or breastfeeding.
If you have been fired, demoted, or are being treated differently because you are pregnant, have a medical condition related to pregnancy, recently gave birth to a child or need to pump during the workday, please get in touch with our accomplished legal professionals so we can assist with your case and help you take action to hold your employer accountable for pregnancy discrimination.
Call (877) 344-4628 today for free consultation to discuss a potential pregnancy discrimination claim.
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