It should come as no surprise to those who even skim our blogs that the number of cases of pregnancy discrimination is rising rapidly. The Washinton Post Capital Business edition of 4/8 confirms this: in fiscal 2011, there was an increase of 23% in the number of EEOC charges alleging pregnancy discrimination.
On February 17th we wrote that with women making up almost one half of the workforce, experts have urged the EEOC to be more proactive in directing employers to accommodate women “who require adjustments to work rules as a result of pregnancy or childbirth.” An EEOC attorney cautioned employers that: “refusing to hire a woman because she is pregnant violates federal law, and the EEOC will enforce that law.”
The EEOC general counsel stated during a recent hearing that “At the core, all of these cases involve employers who held stereotypical assumptions about pregnant women.”
We will keep warning employers — this is not a minor or passing situation. The EEOC is very serious about prosecuting these cases, and plaintiffs’ attormeys will be followng suit.