Richmond Pregnancy & Childbirth Retaliation Attorneys
Expecting & New Mothers Are Protected by State & Federal Laws
Whether you are pregnant, are a new mother, or are experiencing medical conditions as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, you shouldn’t have to face discrimination at work. Added to federal protections provided by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Americans with Disabilities Act is a recently passed amendment to the Virginia Human Rights Act that prohibits employment discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions – including lactation.
If your employer has imposed a reprimand or any kind of punishment against you related to your pregnancy, LawrenceQueen can help you take legal action. The expansion of the Virginia Human Rights Act – called the Virginia Values Act – went into effect on July 1, 2020, providing expecting and new mothers with a variety of new protections against workplace discrimination. If you believe you were unlawfully treated by your employer after the Virginia Values Act became law, our Richmond pregnancy and childbirth retaliation attorneys can help you fight for fair and just compensation and other legal remedies.
How Do Employers Retaliate against Employees for Pregnancy & Childbirth?
Employers can expect a lot from their employees, and those who fail to meet expectations can find themselves subjected to unfavorable consequences. This is retaliation in a nutshell, and it becomes illegal when done to discriminate against people with protected characteristics.
In Virginia, pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions are protected characteristics. This means employers cannot use these to justify actions such as:
- Refusal to promote
- Reducing employee’s hours
- Denying benefits
- Unfavorable performance reviews
These are not the only ways employers can retaliate against their employees! If you suffered any negative consequence and believe it was because your employer discriminated against your pregnancy or childbirth, reach out to LawrenceQueen for legal assistance.
How Are Employees Protected against Retaliation?
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and other laws can potentially protect employees who experience retaliation for various pregnancy-related matters.
Your employer cannot retaliate against you on the basis of:
- Current or previous pregnancy
- Intent to become pregnant
- Abortion (whether the decision is to have one or not)
- Use of contraceptives
Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees who request and/or take Family Medical Leave Act-permitted leave. FMLA provides employees nationwide with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for qualifying reasons – pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions are included as such reasons.
Under FMLA, an employee on leave cannot be terminated while taking leave. Because leave is job-protected, they can expect to return to the same or a similar position they held before as long as pay and benefits are at least equivalent to those prior to taking leave.
Additionally, pregnant workers qualify for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act when they request reasonable accommodation. These employees may need more rest breaks, different furniture, or other adjustments to their working conditions to accommodate their pregnancy. Under federal and state law, requesting such accommodation cannot be a reason to retaliate against an employee.
The Virginia Values Act
An extension of the Virginia Human Rights Act, the Virginia Values Act became law on July 1, 2020, adding new protections for LGBTQ employees as well as those who are pregnant or have experienced childbirth.
Specifically, the law now prohibits employers with five or more employees from discriminating or discharging workers on the basis of their pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition, such as lactation. The law now provides that women who have experienced discrimination, such as retaliation, for these reasons may file a lawsuit for up to two years after the last incident occurred.
While other claimants must first undergo an investigation from the Virginia Division of Human Rights (DHR)before a right to sue is issued, women alleging pregnancy/childbirth discrimination can file a complaint directly with the state court without going through DHR first.
Contact LawrenceQueen Today
Our pregnancy and childbirth retaliation attorneys in Richmond are here to help employees like you assert your rights. If you suffered a negative consequence and believe it was because your employer discriminated against you, schedule a consultation with our legal team to learn more about your options.
Get in touch with LawrenceQueen today by submitting an online contact form today!
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