According to a job applicant, she was given two job interviews and the employer told her to come in to complete new hire paperwork so she could be placed on the schedule. When the applicant emailed the employer with her work availability she also advised that she was 35 weeks pregnant. The employer failed to schedule her for work and stopped communicating with her. One of the employer’s managers told the applicant two weeks later that her position had been placed on hold and two other people had been hired. The manager encouraged her to apply for a position at another later that year.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought a lawsuit on the applicant’s behalf and recently announced a settlement in the case. The EEOC alleged that the employer’s conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The EEOC filed the lawsuit (Case No. 8:16-cv-02936-DKC), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The settlement agreement requires the employer to pay $86,000 and furnish significant relief to resolve the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The employer agreed to a three-year consent decree enjoining it from failing to hire based on sex, including pregnancy. The company will revise its non-discrimination policy to state that it does not discriminate on the basis of pregnancy and will disseminate the revised policy to all current and newly hired employees. The company will also provide annual anti-discrimination training to all managers and hiring personnel. Further, the company will report to EEOC on its compliance with the consent decree, including how it handles any complaints of alleged pregnancy discrimination, and will post a notice regarding the settlement.
An EEOC Director issued a press release stating, “Rescinding a job offer to a qualified applicant, even if you tell her she can reapply for another position after she has the baby, is still illegal pregnancy discrimination.”
Florida employers are reminded that pregnancy discrimination is a hot topic. If you need any assistance in relation to terminating, disciplining, or not hiring/promoting a pregnant woman, please email or call the Law Office of David Miklas, P.A. at 1-772-465-5111 before you take that action to make sure that it is legal.
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