In the lawsuit, the three women — two of whom worked as an administrative assistants and another as a biller — established themselves as solid performers, but when it was discovered that they were pregnant or suspected of being pregnant, they were harassed by their employer, falsely accused of poor performance and later fired. The employees had only been with the company for less than a year. Two were fired in October 2006; the third was fired in March 2007.
In an effort to emphasize the fact that employers are legally prohibited from discriminating against workers because of past, present, or future pregnancies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently introduced new enforcement guidelines on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. This is the first time the guidelines have been updated since 1983.
Although it may seem to be a primitive concept to many, that pregnant women deserve the same protections that other groups receive regarding employment laws, it is not the case. While there have been some small and local victories, a national victory has yet to be gained.
Despite the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978’s bar on discrimination toward pregnant employees, many American women are forced out of their jobs or denied accommodations that would allow them to continue working once they become pregnant.