Articles Tagged with “gender discrimination”

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Pregnancy Discrimination
In 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) received the largest number of complaints of pregnancy discrimination in its history. Pregnancy discrimination has been increasing since at least 1992. Pregnancy discrimination in New Jersey, New York and nationally continues to be a major problem.

It is illegal to discriminate against pregnant mothers. Pregnancy discrimination in New York and New Jersey is barred by law. Employers may not refuse to hire pregnant women, fire pregnant women, or lay employees off because of their pregnancy, harass or transfer them because of their pregnancy, or shift them to work that is perceived as “safer” or “lighter.” The only exception is that transfers can be made as a legitimate accommodation for the specific medical needs of a particular employee.

Employers are permitted to ask the estimated delivery date and expected length of leave before and after delivery, but they are not allowed to ask for a specific date that pregnancy leave will begin. Employers must rehire mothers after delivery, and make reasonable accommodations beforehand.

New Jersey Law
New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination bans discrimination based on “sex.” The New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ruled that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy.

Federal Law
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 likewise prohibits pregnancy discrimination. In 1978, Congress enacted the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII to include pregnancy discrimination as sex discrimination. It also prohibits discrimination based on medical conditions related to pregnancy. It provides that if an employer offers a health plan, pregnancy must be a covered condition. However, the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, being part of Title VII, only covers employers with 50 or more employees.
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imagesCAWQ89PS.jpgThe United States Supreme Court recently issued a decision on a contentious question in employment law , with important implications for New Jersey employment disputes – can an employee who did not engage in protected activity sue his employer for firing him to retaliate against a friend or family member who is a whistleblower? Lower courts had split, but the Supreme Court unanimously sided with the employee and said yes.

Anti-Discrimination Statutes

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment because of an employee’s “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination also prohibits discrimination for these reasons, and also because of an employee’s age, ancestry, disability, marital or civil union status, domestic partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, military service obligations, nationality, genetic information, refusal to submit to a genetic test, or refusal to let an employer know the results of a genetic test.

Both Title VII and the New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who make complaints of discrimination.
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