This week’s the 40th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act – the 1978 federal law designed and enacted to protect women who become pregnant while working, from being fired while pregnant and working.
As of July 2018, if you work anywhere in New York State, outside of New York City and the remaining 28 counties and you are subjected to sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, or unwelcome sexual attention, you can hold your employer accountable.
If you’re going to have your Rosa Parks moment, make it count. Make sure you document, document, document the complaint, and all follow up to the boss, to the HR department. Whatever happens, put it in writing. Hold their feet to the fire. Stand up for yourself. The Rosa Parks moment, Circa 2018 in the workplace.
Every case has a statute of limitations – the date by which it must be filed, or the chances are lost forever. In discrimination cases, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, retaliation, any kind of employment law case, a charge of discrimination must be filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before you’re allowed to file in court, and that charge of discrimination must be filed, within either 180 days of the last discriminatory act or 300 days of the last discriminatory act, depending on the state where you work. So for instance, in New York, that federal filing date with EEOC is 300 days from, if you were fired, that is likely the last discriminatory act.
if your company has at least 50 employees, you are covered for up to a year after your baby is born, you are permitted, and they are required to create, make this space for you to express milk and continue lactating during working hours. Unpaid time, but they can’t discriminate and they must permit you to do so. If your employer does not have 50 employees, approximately half of the states in the United States have their own lactation laws such as in New York, and Connecticut, where I practice law – both of those laws go farther than the federal law in protecting women who are lactating.