Employers Can’t Act as Protectors for Pregnant Employees

The EEOC has achieved another resolution in a pregnancy discrimination case, this time against Washington-based agricultural grower, Tiny’s Organic.  A female worker, who had six years of experience at the company and had even been promoted to supervisor, was terminated 9 days after informing management that she was pregnant with twins.  Management expressed concerns for the employee’s safety, despite the fact that the employee’s doctor had released her to full duty work.  Pursuant to the conciliation agreement, the employer will have to pay $17,500 and engage in other training and remedial efforts.  You can read more about the conciliation agreement here

Employers are reminded that they cannot treat pregnant employees differently, even if the employers believe they are acting out of genuine concern for the safety of the employee and/or her fetus(es).  To do so risks violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, as the Supreme Court held in Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls, Inc., 499 U.S. 187 (1991).  If you are an employer who is concerned with compliance with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, contact Thorpe & Thorpe, P.A. today.