Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pregnancy Discrimination Claims Increasing

One of the most delicate matters an employer must face is when a female employee becomes pregnant. Last year, the EEOC saw a nearly 20% increase in pregnancy discrimination claims since 2001.

There is an increased awareness of discrimination based on race, religion, gender and even sexual orientation in the workplace - but a decided lack of knowledge when it comes to pregnancy.

Bottom line: You cannot demote, terminate or change a job based solely on the fact that an employee is pregnant. Even treating someone 'differently' is cause for action. And 'constructive discharge' (where an employee feels so oppressed she feels forced to quit) can be even worse.

Before making any employment decisions on an employee who's pregnant - get in touch with your human resources consultant or labor lawyer and think it through with the professionals.

(And remember, you cannot discriminate against a job applicant who's pregnant, either.

From Marketwatch via the Modesto Bee.

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