Articles Posted in Pregnancy Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit on Dec. 22 accusing a Christian camp of  demoting a worker due to her pregnancy and related medical issues, then fired her for standing up for her rights.

According to the EEOC, the woman worked as a registrar for the camp, which manages a facility 90 miles outside Houston that hosts youth summer camps and retreats. The company demoted the woman within a week of learning she had developed gestational diabetes during her pregnancy.

The woman apparently expressed to the company’s executive director that the demotion was a form of discrimination. The organization responded by firing her, according to reports.

The EEOC seeks a permanent injunction to ban the company from engaging in sex discrimination in the future, as well as back pay for the woman.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was enacted to stop discrimination of pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace. Because of this, employers are strictly prohibited from inquiring if prospective female employees are pregnant or plan to have children during interviews. When pregnancy is a factor in hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, or benefits, this is discrimination.

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An assistant principal who was demoted after she became pregnant will collect $350,000 from the Palm Beach County School District.

The woman’s suit claims she was given a lower-paid job at a West Palm Beach alternative school after she became pregnant with twins. While remaining an assistant principal, she was assigned to 34 fewer days during the year, which cut her pay about $15,000, according to district records. She said the move also came after she reported allegations that another employee was being sexually harassed.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the school district on the woman’s behalf. While the district has not admitted to any illegal conduct, it has agreed to settle the case “to avoid the burdens and risks of protracted litigation,” according to reports.

The school district will pay the woman $67,000 in back pay and $283,000 in damages. The school district also has agreed to not discriminate or retaliate on the basis of pregnancy and must submit anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies to the U.S. Department of Justice within 60 days.

The School Board is also expected to revise its existing non-discrimination policies, adding pregnancy as a protected class, along with race, religion, sex, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Pregnancy discrimination is a form of employment discrimination. An employer is not allowed to let an employee’s pregnancy or maternity leave negatively impact employment decisions. Some of those negative effects include passing over the employee for a promotion, denying medical benefits, or perhaps terminating employment entirely. On a similar note, it is illegal for employers to try to dissuade an employee from taking maternity leave by implying that she may be replaced during her absence.

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