- The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch, a Florida retirement community, will pay $70,000 to settle a lawsuit from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging one of its managers passed over one candidate for another, who appeared to her less likely to become pregnant.
- The manager texted the first applicant, asking her when she planned to have another baby, the EEOC said. "'With this position it doesn't leave a lot of time off for long periods of time,'" the agency quoted the manager saying in a text message. Glenridge did not interview the applicant.
- The settlement includes a requirement that the company craft and distribute a policy prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace. It will also be required to conduct annual training on sex discrimination for all hiring officials and to post a notice about the lawsuit in the workplace.
Pregnancy discrimination is all too common — the EEOC received nearly 3,000 charges of pregnancy discrimination in 2018 alone, it said in its press release announcing Glenbridge's settlement.
Several employment laws prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of pregnancy, however. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 disallows employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sex, among other things. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII in 1978, providing, in essence, that pregnancy discrimination is another form of sex discrimination. And while Title VII does not require employers to provide accommodations for pregnant workers, the Supreme Court Decision Young v. UPS said accommodations might have to be provided for them if the employer gave accommodations based on similar restrictions for other workers.
Some employers appear to have been lax in training their managerial and recruitment staff on the protections afforded under the law, and the EEOC has endeavored to resolve the resulting claims. Recently, a company that rescinded an existing job offer upon learning the new hire was pregnant agreed to pay $80,000 in damages. The company's CEO, the agency said, admonished the candidate for not disclosing her pregnancy earlier in the hiring process, stating the company would not have extended the offer had it known.
Many companies are unaware of the rights of pregnant women when it comes to accommodations and disability. Party City was recently sued by the EEOC for allegedly telling a pregnant employee they would not accommodate her lifting restrictions. She was fired after providing a doctor's note for her needs and told to reapply for any open position after her doctor released her for full duty.