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.
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.
A major victory by William J. Sipser at a trial at the New York State Division of Human Rights on behalf of his client Chrystal Martinez, was upheld by a June 2018 decision by the Appellate Division, First Department. The Manhattan appeals court upheld Sipser’s trial verdict where he proved that Martinez was fired illegally due to her disability.
The Appeals Court found that Sipser’s client raised questions of fact as to whether the reason given for her termination was a “pretext”—or excuse–for disability discrimination. This is the second important disability case won by Sipser at the Appellate Division in 2018 alone.