Our last blog on the subject reported that the EEOC had sued a Comfort Inn franchisee who fired a housekeeper when it learned that she was pregnant, contending that “it could not allow her to continue to work as a housekeeper because of the potential harm to the development of her baby.” An EEOC attorney said at the time that "Employers may not bar pregnant employees from work because of outdated myths or stereotypes.”
Well, an Arizona restaurant learned this lesson too late and has now agreed to pay $15,000 to settle an EEOC discrimination lawsuit which alleged that it unlawfully removed a pregnant employee from working on Sundays during football season because she was pregnant.
Working on football Sundays was one of the most lucrative shifts, and the restaurant had a policy of denying these shifts to pregnant employees “in an attempt to allegedly satisfy its male Sunday football customers. … because it believed its male customers did not wish to see pregnant women while they watched Sunday football games.”
This time an EEOC attorney stated that "Employers cannot disadvantage the terms and conditions of a pregnant employee’s work to satisfy an assumed customer preference about the physical appearance of employees, which is likely untrue in any event."
Seems that pregnancy still still has some folks believing in "outdated myths or stereotypes" and "assumed customer preference" as a reason to discriminate.