In November we blogged about the impermissibility of firing a pregnant employee because the employer “could not allow her to continue to work as a housekeeper because of the potential harm to the development of her baby.” We quoted an EEOC attorney who said that "Employers may not bar pregnant employees from work because of outdated myths or stereotypes.” That is, you cannot claim that disparate treatment of pregnant employees is justified by concern for the unborn child.
The EEOC has just announced the settlement of a pregnancy discrimination case in Mississippi which alleged that a four months’ pregnant female employee at a bar was fired without warning and without prior disciplinary action because, as it was told to her, "The baby is taking its toll on you." The employee was under no medical or working restrictions when she was fired.
This time the EEOC spokesperson said emphatically that "Employers have a duty to know the law and to follow it. Women have the right to work, including during pregnancy. The EEOC will continue to use appropriate means to protect this right."
The EEOC is targeting pregnancy discrimination. Take heed.