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Protecting Your Rights in the Workplace

Maternity Leave New York

VIDEO FAQ’s: Maternity and Paternity Rights


Pregnant Women are protected by a number of federal, state, and city laws from mistreatment at the workplace because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related condition.  If you have been treated unfairly because of maternity or pregnancy related leave, speak to an experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyer at White & Hilferty for a free consultation.  Learn your maternity rights in New York.

If you have concerns about your maternity or paternity leave, call an employment attorney to discuss your rights.  The pregnancy discrimination attorneys at White & Hilferty exist to help protect your rights against mistreatment in the workplace based on your maternity or paternity rights.


The Pregnancy Discrimination Act(PDA) applies to employers with 15 or more people, prohibiting employers from treating pregnant women differently than other employees with “medical conditions.”  Employers must provide the same accommodations for a pregnant woman that are given to other employees who are unable to perform their regular duties, including  for lactation and breastfeeding.

Under the PDA, employers are also required to provide sick leave and disability benefits on the same basis that apply to other employees who returning from disability leave.  On the other hand, however, if an employer usually requires employees to obtain a doctor’s note before allowing leave or other temporary benefits, employers have the right to require the same for pregnant employees.

Pregnant women are allowed to work as long as she can perform the job.  Pregnant women must be given modified tasks, alternate assignments, disability leave or unpaid leave in the same manner that is provided to other employees.  You are guaranteed job-security during your leave, and seniority continues to accrue keeping eligibility for pay increases and benefits.


Pregnant employees are guaranteed job-protected leave by The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  FMLA applies to both female and male employees who have been worked at least 1,250 hours (about 24 hours a week) in the last year for an employer with 50 or more employees.  Under FMLA, any new parents have up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for new children which can be taken any time during the first year after the child is born.

You have the right to take FMLA without any retaliation from your employer.  Employers are liable for damages if your FMLA rights have been violated.   Read more about FMLA retaliation here.


New York State Paid Family Leave Act (NYSPFL) provides additional coverage for employees who work for a “private employer” with at least 1 employee can take leave after 26 consecutive weeks of full-time employment, or 175 consecutive days for part-time employees. Covered employees are eligible for qualifying family leave events, such as birth.

Under Paid Family Leave in 2019, eligible employees  may take up to 10 weeks paid time off with 55% compensation of your average weekly wage.   Update:  That amount will increase to 12 weeks in 2021.  Update:  Compare Paid Family Leave in New York as to FMLA benefits here


New York City Council passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act requiring employers to provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodations to help with employee’s pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Some examples of reasonable accommodations might be extra breaks or help with manual labor, such as lifting heavy items.


Contact a Maternity Discrimination Lawyer to discuss your rights when it comes to maternity or paternity leave New York.  The Law Office of Vincent P. White has established itself as the leading employment discrimination law firm for employees who have been discriminated on the basis of pregnancy and maternity rights.   Don’t hesitate to give us a call 24/7 at 646-698-8990 or Contact Us online to schedule your consultation.