EEOC Reminds Employers in New York and Nationwide that Pregnancy Discrimination is Illegal

1222280_cock_at_day sxchu username abcdz2000.jpgThe nation’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed a lawsuit against a Chick-Fil-A Franchise for allegedly refusing to hire a pregnant job applicant. According to a complaint filed by the EEOC, the owner of the restaurant violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 when he made an employment decision based upon a woman’s pregnancy status. At the time of the incident, the woman reportedly interviewed for a team member position while she was six months pregnant.

During the interview, the owner of the business allegedly asked the woman a number of questions related to her pregnancy, including when she was due and how much maternity leave she anticipated taking. After the woman answered the owner’s questions, she was informed that she would not be hired by the company. According to the pregnant woman, the owner told her to contact him again after her child was born and she secured reliable childcare.

The EEOC’s lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, back pay, and both compensatory and punitive damages. EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Tina Burnside stated that employers must treat pregnant job applicants the same as other potential employees. She also added that employers may not refuse to hire a woman based upon her pregnancy status.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protection against discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. The New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law provide similar protections at both the state and local levels. These laws generally prohibit employers from making hiring decisions based on pregnancy and other protected statuses such as disability, marital status, race, and national origin.

Currently, women make up about half of the nation’s workforce. Approximately 75 percent of female workers will become pregnant at some point during their career. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination occurs frequently and can take many forms. In 2011, the EEOC received nearly 6,000 pregnancy discrimination complaints. If you suffered workplace pregnancy discrimination in New York, you are advised to contact a skilled lawyer.

The committed attorneys at Phillips & Associates have years of experience representing the victims of pregnancy discrimination and workplace sexual harassment in New York City and surrounding areas. At Phillips & Associates, our capable lawyers will help you protect your rights at the municipal, state, and federal levels. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a dedicated advocate, please call our hardworking attorneys at (212) 248-7431 today. You may also contact us through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Case Demonstrates Dangers of Pregnancy Discrimination in New York and Elsewhere, New York Employment Attorney Blog, July 5, 2013
NYPD Officer Claims She Suffered Retaliation for Reporting Co-Worker Sexual Harassment, New York Employment Attorney Blog, June 20, 2013
Additional Resources:

Chick-Fil-A Franchise at Concord Commons Sued by EEOC for Pregnancy Discrimination, U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission Press Release dated July 2, 2013

Photo credit: abcdz2000, Stock.xchng

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