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EEOC gets involved in pregnancy discrimination claim

Previous posts here have mentioned the problem of pregnancy discrimination. How is this form of employment discrimination similar to other types of discrimination? Well, it is usually based on what many would call a temporary medical condition. An employer who believes that the time off that a pregnant employee may need to take is jeopardizing business operations could seek to replace that employee - permanently. Or, an employer could discriminate against a job applicant based on the pregnancy - not hiring the individual because that person would obviously need to take at least a short period of time off from work within the foreseeable future. When a woman is subjected to this type of discrimination in the workplace, the employer needs to be held accountable.

That appears to have been the result in one incident of alleged discrimination based on a woman's pregnancy. According to the reports, the woman was a part-time employee of a private school, and in her complaint she alleged that the school fired because of her pregnancy. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission eventually got involved, and the case was recently settled for $37,500.

As this case came to a settlement, the school denied any wrongdoing, but also agreed to provide training to current employees on how to recognize and avoid pregnancy discrimination. Discrimination prevention training is typically part of any type of settlement in which the EEOC has become involved.

Although many of our Colorado readers would probably say that society is becoming more tolerant and accepting of individuals dealing with medical conditions, whether they are permanent or temporary, mental or physical, employment discrimination is still a widespread problem throughout the country. Anyone who believes they have been the victim of employment discrimination should move quickly to learn about the potential options, especially when there are time constraints for some types of claims.

Source: Today's TMJ4, "Milwaukee school settles discrimination lawsuit over pregnant teacher," March 14, 2013

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