If you are having problems at work because of your pregnancy, you might wonder what you can do about it. Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is illegal. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler help people who encounter workplace discrimination on the basis of their pregnancies. It is important that you understand what to do so that you can protect your rights.
The 300-day deadline for filing discrimination charges
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy. It is included in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Like other laws, there are deadlines that you must follow when you plan to file a discrimination charge.
For most discrimination charges, you must file your charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or with the corresponding state agency. According to the EEOC, you must file your charge no later than 180 days from the date that you were discriminated against. However, that time period is expanded to 300 days if a state agency enforces a law that prohibits discrimination of the same type.
The time period begins to run from the last negative job action. This can include an adverse action taken by your employer against your status or pay. For example, if you were terminated because of your pregnancy, your time period to file a charge starts running from the date that you were fired.
The situation is different if you are a federal employee. Federal workers only have 45 days to report discrimination that they have experienced at work. If you are a federal worker, you must report what happened to your agency’s equal employment opportunity officer.
Where pregnancy discrimination charges should be filed
In New Jersey, you can either file your pregnancy discrimination charge with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights or the EEOC. If you file with the state agency, you can do so at one of their regional offices. In Pennsylvania, you can either file your charge with the EEOC or with your county’s human relations commission office.
How is the EEOC different than state or county agencies?
The EEOC has work-sharing agreements with many state and county agencies that enforce similar anti-discrimination laws. Some state anti-discrimination laws are broader, however. For example, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination covers employers of all sizes, including those with fewer than 15 employees. The federal laws that are enforced by the EEOC cover employers that have 15 or more employees.
Can you file a discrimination claim in court?
The law requires you to file a discrimination charge with the EEOC or a state or local agency before you can file a lawsuit. Make sure that you file your discrimination charge within the prescribed time frame. Your charge can be filed online, by fax, or over the telephone.
Contact the employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler
If you have been targeted at work because of your pregnancy, you may have legal rights. It is important for you to act quickly to preserve your potential claim. Contact the attorneys at Swartz Swidler today to schedule a free consultation.