Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers Columbus

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Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers Columbus, Ohio

Both state and federal laws protect pregnant employees from being discriminated against, but unfortunately, the problem still happens in Ohio and throughout the country. It can be devastating to suffer an adverse job action in what should be a happy moment.

If you’re dealing with workplace discrimination because of your pregnancy, the best thing you can do is to turn to a pregnancy discrimination attorney as soon as possible. We’re here to guide you through this challenging time at Oliver Law Office.

Understanding Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws Regarding Pregnancy

Three crucial federal discrimination laws protect the civil rights of pregnant employees: the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)

The United States federal government created the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which makes it illegal for employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate against any of them based on pregnancy or childbirth. Employers can’t take any of the following actions against pregnant employees if they are capable of doing their jobs:
  • Denying a pregnant woman equal benefits, pay, and advancement opportunities.
  • Refusing to hire a woman because she has a condition related to pregnancy.
  • Requiring those with pregnancy-related conditions to go through further clearance procedures to get insurance.
  • Refusing to hire a pregnant applicant.
Expectant mothers’ rights under the PDA also include employers having to accommodate their needs as they would for someone with a temporary disability. That could mean:
  • Modifying some of the employee’s tasks.
  • Providing the employee with disability leave.
  • Assigning the employee to lighter tasks.
  • Allowing the employee to take leave without pay.
If any of the rights the PDA grants you have been violated, turn to a pregnancy discrimination lawyer for help.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA offers job-protected leave from work for medical and family reasons. Pregnancy, childbirth, and any medical conditions related to these apply. Typically, FMLA covers 12 weeks.
Eligible employees work for an employer for at least 12 months and have at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during those months. Their employer has to have at least 50 employees within 75 miles to be covered by FMLA.
You can take your FMLA leave all at once. However, if you want to reduce the number of daily or weekly work hours instead of taking a full leave, you and your employer must agree on it.
Although FMLA provides job-protected unpaid leave, you can also use employer-provided paid leave if the employer’s paid leave policy covers FMLA. You don’t have to request FMLA specifically, but you do need to provide information so your employer knows you’ll be covered by federal law.

Anyone can suffer from chronic or short-term back pain after an accident. Ignoring any discomfort after an accident can lead to injuries of a more serious nature, advanced treatment, and even surgery. A Columbus back injury lawyer will have the knowledge and understanding to help you navigate the legal process while trying to recover from a painful injury.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)

As of June 2023, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act applies to pregnant women and those who’ve just given birth. It requires employers to make reasonable accommodations, including:
  • Providing closer parking.
  • Allowing covered employees to work from home.
  • Offering longer break times and lunch times.
  • Allowing employees to sit.
  • Providing appropriately sized uniforms and safety gear.
  • Excusing the employee from strenuous activities.
The PWFA also prohibits employers from forcing pregnant women to take a leave of absence if a reasonable accommodation can keep them working. Employers can’t force employees to accept accommodations if they don’t want to.

State Protections

Those who work for smaller companies that federal laws may not cover still have protection under Ohio law. Ohio state discrimination laws say that any employer with four or more employees can’t discriminate against women affected by pregnancy or childbirth.
If your employer has violated your civil rights, a maternity leave lawyer will provide legal advocacy for mothers.

Filing an Employment Discrimination Claim

Suppose you’ve been terminated, demoted, harassed, or in any way discriminated against because of pregnancy or childbirth. In that case, you can file a claim with the federal government via the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC). You can also file a lawsuit.

Proving Discrimination

To be successful in demonstrating you experienced gender discrimination, you have to prove that you were or are pregnant, that you are qualified for your position, that you suffered an adverse job action, and that your pregnancy led to the adverse job action.
To do so, you must show that you were performing at a level that met your employer’s expectations. You need to show you’ve not been subject to discipline and that you have a positive work performance history.
You then need to demonstrate that you suffered an adverse job action. This can mean your employer:
  • Terminated your employment
  • Failed to give you a promotion when one is warranted
  • Diminished your job responsibilities
  • Increased your job responsibilities until they were impossible to manage
  • Reduced your pay or benefits
  • Transferred you to a less favorable position
To show that there is a connection between your pregnancy and the adverse job action you suffered, you might need to demonstrate that male or not-pregnant female employees were treated more favorably. If you were fired, it could help your claim if a male or non-pregnant female employee replaced you.

Why You Need a Columbus, Ohio, Attorney

Although it’s possible to file a claim without legal help, it’s not recommended. Aside from the challenges of gathering the necessary evidence independently, the EEOC and OCRC are overwhelmed with claims. They won’t be able to provide the undivided attention that yours deserves.
If you choose to go directly through these agencies and not file a lawsuit, understand that you can’t take the claim to court once you get a ruling on them. Why is this important?
Even if the EEOC or OCRC rules favorably on your claim, there’s a limit to the compensation they can offer. You can be reinstated and receive back pay, but that doesn’t cover the emotional damage you’ve suffered.
If you hire an employee rights lawyer, you can take the case to court to get better compensation. Everything is considered, including the humiliation you experienced, the expenses you may have incurred looking for another job, and more.

Getting Help From an Employment Discrimination Lawyer

If you are or were pregnant and suffered an adverse job action because of it, you have rights under Ohio law. Workplace fairness lawyers are ready to defend those rights.
At Oliver Law Office, you can get a women-led firm on your side. We have years of experience helping clients who have faced discrimination and know how stressful the entire process is. You deserve to have a team of dedicated and compassionate lawyers guiding you.
We evaluate each claim on its merits to develop the legal strategy that will best help it succeed. When you turn to us, you’re getting experience and dependability.

Don’t wait to get started on your path toward justice. If you can’t come to our offices, we offer house calls and virtual consultations. Contact Oliver Law Office to speak with a pregnancy discrimination lawyer.

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JAMI S. OLIVER

When Jami Oliver launched her own firm in 2000, she did so with one simple idea in mind: to seek justice for those who have been hurt, injured, or wronged due to the negligence of others. While she’s won numerous awards and accolades in the years since, her philosophy hasn’t changed. If you need an attorney who can advocate for you after an accident, product recall, or other tragedy, the Oliver Law Office should be your first choice.