The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has promised a crack down on employers who discriminate against pregnant employees in violation of federal and state protections. Too many employers continue to penalize their female work force because of pregnancy,” noted District Director of the EEOC in Birmingham, Delner Franklin-Thomas.
As recently as last month, Quest Intelligence Group – a security firm in California – was sued for pregnancy discrimination after refusing to allow a female worker to return to work after childbirth. The female employee was told that there were no openings for her at the time, but that the company would contact her as soon as something came up. In the meantime, several male security guards were hired by the company.
Another pregnancy discrimination case recently made it to the California Court of Appeals. In Alamo v. Practice Management Information Corporation (PMIC), the employer was sued for violating state and federal pregnancy protections when it fired Alamo shortly after she returned from maternity leave. The company claimed she was fired for performance-related issues, but those so-called-issues were never issues before Alamo had taken time off to have a baby.
The EEOC’s stepped-up enforcement of pregnancy protections is in-line with a new bill in Congress, the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act. The Act aims to offer the same protections and rights to reasonable accommodation to pregnant women as are already guaranteed to employees with a disability.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace Target Of New EEOC Crackdown,” September 29, 2012