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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

“No Pregnancy in the Workplace” Rule Is Illegal

By Dan Atkerson on June 08, 2015

Nonprofits are not immune from federal discrimination regulations. A U.S. District Court has told United Bible Fellowship Ministries, Inc., a group providing housing and care to people with disabilities, to pay a former employee $75,000 after firing her for her pregnancy.

A representative for the group told the courts that her firing was necessary to protect both the pregnant employee’s safety and that of her child. The group had a strict “no pregnancy in the workplace” policy, something that is a blatant affront to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

“Employers cannot impose paternalistic and unsubstantiated views on the alleged dangers of pregnancy to exclude all pregnant women from employment,” said Claudia Molina-Antanaitis, the EEOC representative in charge of the case.

Subtle Pregnancy Discrimination

While the pregnancy discrimination in this case is self-explanatory, often pregnancy discrimination comes in a more subtle form. Nearly 250,000 women are told every year that they cannot have small accommodations that would make their work safer and easier – things like stools to sit on or a lighter workload. Because of this, some women are forced into unpaid leave or simply fired when they cannot perform their work. Still other women tough it out, putting themselves and their babies at risk of health problems.

There are 45 states with protections against pregnancy discrimination, with 14 states and the District of Columbia requiring employees to reasonably accommodate moms who choose to stay at work while pregnant. And yet, discrimination continues to this day. If you have suffered in the workplace due to pregnancy discrimination, discuss your case with an employment law attorney.

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