An I being discriminated against if I am refused the same opportunity as others?

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An I being discriminated against if I am refused the same opportunity as others?

Prior to my maternity leave I discussed returning with a 4 day work week with a 20% paycut. My employer was open to the idea and 2 other woman in the office have this situation so a precedent has been set. When it was time to return I was told I had to return 5 days. There are 3 other pregnant woman in the office and I was told by my boss there are slot of new mommies in the office and he can’t do this for everyone. If others have this situation why should I not be given the same opportunity.

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, the law does not require everyone to be treated the same. All it requires is that an employee not be discriminated against because of her membership in a protected category, such as being a woman. So if, for example, men were allowed a shorter workweek but women were not, that might be discrimination. But if other women are allowed a shorter workweek, but the employer now decides it can't let anyone else have one due to work demands, or simply decides to not let you personally have a shorter work week, that would not be illegal sex- or gender-based discrimination. From what you write, your employer seems to be able  to do this.


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