Work place pregnancy discrimination cases are on the rise even though it has been outlawed since 34 years ago with the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits employers with 15 or more workers from discriminating based on pregnancy or childbirth, and pregnant women must be permitted to work as long as they are able, with any absences treated the same as any other disability leave. While it may shock many people that this sort of discrimination still exists, it comes to no shock to the Harman Firm as we have handles numerous pregnancy discrimination matters.
Three notable cases brought to the EEOC, show how expansive pregnancy discrimination is and how it ranges throughout a variety of different fields of work. One case involves a housekeeper who alleged she was fired after disclosing her pregnancy, even though her doctor had cleared her to work with no restrictions. The other involved two women at a fast-growing government contractor who allege they were forced to resign because they were pregnant; later they were awarded back wages and damages. And yet another involved an attorney who was offered a job with a small law firm in DC, only to report that it was rescinded when she told her boss she was expecting.
Some interesting statistics are also highlighted in the article. In 2011, women filed 5,797 complaints with the EEOC alleging pregnancy discrimination at work or in hiring, which is a 23 percent increase from fiscal 2005. Three-quarters of the 268 pregnancy-related EEOC lawsuits in the past decade alleged wrongful firing, while 10 percent brought claims of unlawful failure to hire.
Companies as diverse as Delta Air Lines, Chesapeake Bay Golf Club, Imagine Schools, Rehab Management of Maryland and Verizon have all paid restitution related to pregnancy discrimination, according to EEOC records. Some settlements include payment of back wages to workers who were let go as well as the implementation of work place policies banning pregnancy discrimination.
EEOC general counsel David Lopez stated: “At the core, all of these cases involve employers who held stereotypical assumptions about pregnant women.”