The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has found a sharp increase in pregnancy discrimination complaints over the past 10 years. Women complained of violations that ranged from getting fired during pregnancy or immediately after, to being assigned lower-paying positions because of their condition.
• In Pennsylvania, a chiropractor notified her employer when she found out she was pregnant. She was hospitalized for nearly two weeks with severe morning sickness that nearly led to dehydration. The company fired the mother-to-be and terminated her health care within days of her notice, and hired a replacement. She’s suing under the EEOC for an undisclosed amount, and the company counter-sued her for $50,000, claiming that she left her job and neglected to fulfill her contract obligations.
• In another case, a judge ordered a Wisconsin medical staffing company to pay $148,000 to a woman, Roxy Leger, who was fired when she took maternity leave following the birth of her son. The settlement resulted from a default judgment, when the company failed to retain an attorney after a court order. According to the EEOC, the company owner “referred to Leger’s pregnancy as a joke; insisted that maternity leave should last no more than a couple of days; suggested that Leger’s pre-natal appointments were a ruse for additional time off or for money; and gave Leger an offensive diagram of a machine which would allow Leger to return from her maternity leave sooner … HCS terminated Leger’s employment and health insurance while she was still in the hospital recovering from a Cesarean section … Leger learned of her termination days later by certified mail,” reports the human resources company Workforce.
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