Would you hesitate to hire a pregnant woman?
By Darlene Clabault
You have an opening for a pretty intense position that will require the incumbent to attend some additional training
as well as put in some extra hours of work. You've received a fair number of quality resumes and have identified six candidates you will interview. After the interviews, one candidate stands out. You give that candidate a call and offer the position.
After the candidate calls back to accept the position, she asks about maternity benefits because she is pregnant.
Knowing the demands of the position and the need for someone long-term, you wonder if you've made the right choice.
Case in point
An employer faced with such a situation made a decision that did not sit well with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
, which enforces most of the employment anti-discrimination laws.
In the case, upon receipt of the company's offer letter, the candidate affirmed her interest by email and asked a few questions regarding the offer. About two hours later, the candidate spoke with the department leader's assistant and inquired about maternity benefits because she was pregnant.
The assistant immediately advised the department leader of the applicant's pregnancy and, according to the suit, the applicant received an email from the company just minutes later, rescinding the job offer. The email noted that the company "had a very urgent need to have somebody in the position long term," but indicated that the company appreciated that the applicant revealed the information before she began working.
The employer denied the allegations, but ended up settling for $100,000, and was required to take a number of steps to help the organization avoid pregnancy discrimination
in the future.
Pregnant women could have discrimination
protections from a variety of federal laws, including:
claimed that the employer in the case violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Employers need to be aware of the rights of pregnant employees and applicants, and they should not assume that pregnant individuals are unable to perform the functions of the job.
Copyright 2017 J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.