Denver CO Discrimination Lawyer – Pregnancy and Nursing Mother Discrimination
For mothers, the days, weeks, and months after birth are defined by a motherly happiness, but from pregnancy to postnatal nursing, this period can also be very distressing. Unfortunately, some employers and other individuals make it more difficult for mothers to care for their baby during pregnancy or while nursing. In Colorado, it is unlawful for others (whether other employees or employers) to discriminate against a pregnant or nursing mother in the workplace. If you or your loved one is or has been experiencing discrimination, you need to contact a Denver CO discrimination lawyer experienced in pregnancy and nursing mother discrimination cases.
We at the Civil Rights Litigation Group fully uphold a mother’s rights during pregnancy and nursing. With extensive knowledge of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (as it relates to pregnant workers), we will objectively, compassionately, and professionally analyze your claim to see if there’s a lawsuit. If so, we’ll use the full extent of Colorado and federal law to pursue those responsible for the discriminatory actions.
Overview of Colorado Legal Protections for Pregnant or Nursing Mothers
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides inherent protections against any form of sex discrimination. Expanding on Title VII, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) makes it absolutely clear that discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, or other medical conditions related to pregnancy is a form of sex discrimination. Therefore, pregnant and nursing mothers who are able to work must be permitted to work on the same conditions as the other employees.
If a mother is unable to work for medical reasons, then the employer must provide access to the same benefits, rights, and leave privileges, similar to what other “disabled” workers would be entitled to. This includes the whole range of childbearing issues, and women have the right to be financially and legally protected before, during, and after their pregnancies.
Furthermore, the State of Colorado also has several laws and legal protections for mothers. First of all, Colorado’s Anti Discrimination Act makes sex discrimination illegal, and the Colorado Supreme Court has stated that this includes pregnancy and maternity. Other important protections include:
- Disabilities caused by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, and childbirth are to be considered temporary disabilities for job-related purposes.
- Employers must treat pregnancy-related disabilities just like any other temporary disability, which means that mothers are entitled to leave duration, leave extensions, job reinstatement, and health insurance coverage.
- Employers must also uphold a mother’s workplace breastfeeding rights. This includes providing reasonable daily unpaid break time as well as paid break or meal time so that mothers can breastfeed. This can last for up to two years after childbirth. The Employer must also provide reasonable, private space near the work area (and this private space must be other than a toilet stall).
When representing your case, we at the Civil Rights Litigation Group will assert the claims under federal law, Title VII and APA, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
Pregnancy Discrimination & Harassment
Despite all the regulations and laws designed to protect new mothers, pregnancy and nursing mother discrimination still occurs at an unacceptable rate in some Colorado workplaces. We at the Civil Rights Litigation Group have witnessed and worked with clients who have been directly victimized by discriminatory employer practices. In addition to not providing reasonable resources or accommodating leave and temporary disability rights, some unlawful practices in Colorado workplaces have included:
- Making up a reason to fire an employee when it is discovered that she is pregnant
- Removing the employee from promotions because of the perceived “challenges” the mother will face with a newborn. For example, making a qualified employee ineligible for a promotion because she will need to focus on her home life.
- During the application, the recruiter uses the applicant’s pregnancy to “pause” the hiring process, telling the applicant to come back after childbirth.
- Requiring a pregnant employee to engage in potentially dangerous work and not accommodating the pregnancy as a disability (for example, forcing a pregnant employee to continue lifting heavy boxes as she did before she was pregnant).
- Disciplining an employee for missing work so that she could visit her doctor for prenatal care.
Protect Your Rights and Call the Civil Rights Litigation Group
As a new mother, Colorado and federal anti-discrimination rights ensure a healthy pregnancy, childbirth, and post-natal care, including nursing. These protections, especially when it comes to workplace protections, also seek to ensure financial and professional stability during the pregnancy and nursing.
Pregnancy discrimination, therefore, is a major civil rights violation, and if you were the victim, you need to call your local Denver civil rights lawyers at the Civil Rights Litigation Group. Call us today at (720) 515-6165 for a free consultation.