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Current Pregnancy The most familiar form of pregnancy discrimination is discrimination against an employee based on her current pregnancy. Such discrimination occurs when an employer refuses to hire, fires, or takes any other adverse action against a woman because she is pregnant, without regard to her ability to perform the duties of the job. Employer's Knowledge of Pregnancy If those responsible for taking the adverse action did not know the employee was pregnant, there can be no finding of intentional pregnancy discrimination. Since the obviousness of pregnancy "varies, both temporally and as between different affected individuals,"  an issue may arise as to whether the employer knew of the pregnancy. When she was three months pregnant, Germaine's supervisor told her that she would not receive a bonus. Because the pregnancy was not obvious and the evidence indicated that the decision makers did not know of Germaine's pregnancy at the time of the bonus decision, there is no reasonable cause to believe that Germaine was subjected to pregnancy discrimination.
Current Pregnancy The most familiar form of pregnancy discrimination is discrimination against an employee based on her current pregnancy. Such discrimination occurs when an employer refuses to hire, fires, or takes any other adverse action against a woman because she is pregnant, without regard to her ability to perform the duties of the job. Employer's Knowledge of Pregnancy If those responsible for taking the adverse action did not know the employee was pregnant, there can be no finding of intentional pregnancy discrimination.
Since the obviousness of pregnancy "varies, both temporally and as between different affected individuals,"  an issue may arise as to whether the employer knew of the pregnancy. When she was three months pregnant, Germaine's supervisor told her that she would not receive a bonus. Because the pregnancy was not obvious and the evidence indicated that the decision makers did not know of Germaine's pregnancy at the time of the bonus decision, there is no reasonable cause to believe that Germaine was subjected to pregnancy discrimination.
Stereotypes and Assumptions Adverse treatment of pregnant women often arises from stereotypes and assumptions about their job capabilities and commitment to the job.
For example, an employer might refuse to hire a pregnant woman based on an assumption that she will have attendance problems or leave her job after the child is born. Employment decisions based on such stereotypes or assumptions violate Title VII. Soon after, pregnancy complications kept her out of the office for two additional days. When Maria aLdies to work, her supervisor said her body Alabaa trying to tell her something and that he needed someone who would not have attendance problems.
The following day, Maria was discharged. The investigation reveals that Maria's attendance record was comparable to, or better than, that of non-pregnant co-workers who remained employed. It is reasonable to conclude that her discharge was attributable to the supervisor's stereotypes about pregnant workers' attendance rather than to Maria's actual attendance record and, therefore, was unlawful. The interviewer tells her that Ladiex and August are the busiest months of the year and asks whether she will be available to work during that time period.
Darlene replies that she is due to deliver in late September and intends to work right up to the delivery date. The interviewer explains that the campground cannot risk that she will decide to stop working earlier and, therefore, will not hire her.
The campground's refusal to hire Darlene on this basis constitutes pregnancy discrimination. Past Pregnancy An employee may claim she was subjected to discrimination based on past pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The language of the PDA does not restrict claims to those based on current pregnancy.
As one court stated, "It would make little sense to prohibit an employer from firing a woman during her pregnancy but permit the employer to terminate her the day after delivery if the reason for termination was that the woman became pregnant in the first place. Teresa had consistently received outstanding performance reviews during her eight years of employment with the company. However, the supervisor now for the first time accused Teresa of having a bad attitude and providing poor service to clients.
Two weeks after Teresa began her pregnancy-related medical leave, her employer discharged her for poor performance. The employer produced no evidence of customer complaints or any other documentation of poor performance.
The evidence of outstanding performance reviews preceding notice to the employer of Teresa's pregnancy, the lack of documentation of subsequent poor performance, and the timing of the discharge support a finding of unlawful pregnancy discrimination. A lengthy time difference between a claimant's pregnancy and the challenged action will not necessarily foreclose a finding of pregnancy discrimination if there is evidence establishing that the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions motivated that action.
If the challenged action was due to the employee's caregiving responsibilities, a violation of Title VII may be see,ing where there is evidence that the employee's gender or another protected characteristic motivated the employer's action. Potential or Intended Pregnancy The Supreme Court has held that Title VII "prohibit[s] an employer from discriminating against a woman xex of her capacity to become pregnant.
Discrimination Based on Reproductive Risk An employer's concern about risks to the employee or her fetus will rarely, if ever, justify sex-specific job restrictions for a woman with childbearing capacity. Discrimination Based on Intention to Become Pregnant Title VII similarly prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee because of her intention to become pregnant. Because Title VII prohibits discrimination based oDuglas pregnancy, employers should not make inquiries into whether an applicant or employee intends to become pregnant.
The EEOC will generally regard such an inquiry as evidence of pregnancy discrimination where the employer subsequently makes an unfavorable job decision affecting a pregnant worker. The manager reacted with displeasure, stating that the pregnancy might interfere with her job responsibilities. Two Ladjes later, Anne was demoted to a lower paid position with no supervisory responsibilities. In response to Anne's EEOC charge, the employer asserts it demoted Anne because of her inability to delegate tasks effectively.
Anne's performance evaluations were consistently outstanding, with no mention of such a concern. The timing of the demotion, the manager's reaction to Anne's disclosure, Ladies seeking sex Douglas Alabama Albama documentary evidence refuting the employer's explanation make clear that the employer has engaged in unlawful discrimination. Because surgical impregnation is intrinsically tied to a woman's childbearing capacity, an inference of unlawful sex discrimination may be raised aex, for example, an employee is penalized for taking time off from work to undergo such a procedure.
Contraception is a means by which Dougla woman can control her capacity to become pregnant, Ldies, therefore, Title VII's prohibition of discrimination based on potential pregnancy necessarily includes a prohibition on discrimination related to a woman's use of contraceptives. In General Title VII prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
Thus, an employer may not discriminate against a woman with a medical condition relating to pregnancy or childbirth and must treat her the same as others who are similar in their ability or inability to work but are not affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The employer's policy provided four weeks of medical leave to employees who had worked less than a year.
Sherry had worked sreking the employer for only six months and was discharged when she Alxbama not return to work after four weeks. Although Sherry claims the employer discharged her due to her pregnancy, the evidence showed that the employer applied its leave policy uniformly, regardless of medical condition or sex and, therefore, did not engage in unlawful disparate treatment.
Discrimination Based on Lactation and Breastfeeding There are various circumstances in which discrimination against a female employee who is lactating or breastfeeding can implicate Title VII. Lactation, the postpartum production Douflas milk, is a physiological process triggered by hormones. Ladiea example, if an employer allows employees to change their schedules or use sick leave for routine doctor appointments and to address non-incapacitating medical conditions,  then it must allow female employees to change their schedules or use sick leave for lactation-related needs under similar circumstances.
Finally, because only women lactate, a practice that singles out lactation or breastfeeding for less favorable treatment affects only women and therefore is facially sex-based. For example, it would violate Title VII for an employer to freely permit employees to use break time for personal reasons except to express breast milk. Abortion Title VII protects women from being fired for having an abortion or contemplating having an abortion.
For example, it would be unlawful for a manager to pressure an employee to have an abortion, or not to have an abortion, in order to retain her job, get better asments, or stay on a path for advancement.
Evaluating PDA-Covered Employment Decisions Pregnancy discrimination may take the form of disparate treatment pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition is a motivating factor in an dex employment action or disparate impact a neutral policy or practice has a ificant negative impact on women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, sfeking a related medical condition, and either the policy or practice is not job related and consistent with business necessity or there is a less discriminatory alternative and the employer has refused to adopt it.
Disparate Treatment The PDA defines discrimination because of sex to include discrimination because of or on the basis of pregnancy. As with other claims of discrimination under Title VII, an employer will be found to have discriminated on the basis of pregnancy if an employee's pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition was all or part of the motivation for an employment decision. Intentional discrimination under the PDA can be proven using any of the types of evidence used in Diuglas sex discrimination cases.
Discriminatory motive may be established directly, or it can be inferred from the surrounding facts and circumstances. The PDA further provides that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy includes failure to treat women affected by pregnancy "the same for all employment related purposes. All evidence should be examined in context, and the presence or absence of any particular kind of evidence is not dispositive. Evidence indicating disparate treatment based on Ladies seeking sex Douglas Alabama, childbirth, or related medical conditions includes the following: An explicit policy  or a statement by a decision maker or someone who influenced the challenged decision that on its face demonstrates pregnancy bias and is linked to the challenged action.
In Deneen v. Northwest Airlines, Inc. In Asmo v. Keane, Inc. In Wallace v.
Methodist Hospital System,  the employer asserted that it discharged the plaintiff,a pregnant nurse, in part because she performed a medical procedure without a physician's knowledge or consent. The plaintiff produced evidence that this reason was pretextual by showing that the employer merely reprimanded a non-pregnant worker for nearly identical misconduct.
In Nelson v. Wittern Group,  the defendant asserted it fired the plaintiff not because of her pregnancy but Alabamma overstaffing required elimination of her position. The court found a reasonable jury could conclude this reason was pretextual where there was evidence that the plaintiff and her co-workers had plenty of work to do, and the plaintiff's supervisor assured her prior to her parental leave that she would not need to worry about having Albama job when she got back.
In Cumpiano v. Banco Santander Puerto Rico,  the court affirmed a finding of pregnancy discrimination where there was evidence that the employer did not Douglaz the conduct policy on which it relied to justify the discharge until the plaintiff became pregnant. In Young v. United Parcel Serv. If the employer's reasons for its actions are not sufficiently strong to justify the burden, that will "give rise to an inference of intentional discrimination.
Harassment Title VII, as amended by the PDA, requires employers to provide a work environment free of harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical Douglqs. An employer's failure to do so violates the statute. Liability can result from the conduct of a supervisor, co-workers, or non-employees such as customers or business partners over whom the employer has some control.
Such motivation is often evidenced by the content of the remarks but, even if pregnancy is not explicitly referenced, Title VII is implicated if there is other evidence that pregnancy motivated the conduct. Of course, as with harassment on any other basis, the conduct is unlawful only if the employee perceives it to be hostile or abusive and if it is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of employment from the perspective of a reasonable person in the employee's position.
Relevant factors in evaluating whether harassment creates a work environment sufficiently hostile to violate Title VII may include any of the following no single factor Laeies determinative : The frequency Lafies the discriminatory conduct; The severity of the conduct; Whether the conduct was physically threatening or humiliating; Whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the employee's work performance; and The context in which the conduct occurred, zeeking well as any other relevant factor.
The more severe the harassment, the Dkuglas pervasive it needs to be, and vice versa. Accordingly, unless the harassment is quite severe, a single incident or isolated incidents of offensive conduct or remarks generally do not create an unlawful hostile working environment. Pregnancy-based comments or other acts that are not sufficiently severe standing alone may become actionable when repeated, although there is no threshold of harassing incidents that gives rise to liability.
EXAMPLE 7 Hostile Environment Harassment Binah, a black woman from Nigeria, claims that when she was visibly pregnant with her second child, her supervisors increased her workload and shortened her deadlines so that she could not complete her asments, ostracized her, repeatedly excluded her from meetings to which she should have been invited, reprimanded her for failing to show up for work due to snow when others Dogulas not reprimanded, and subjected her to profanity.
Binah asserts the supervisors subjected her to this harassment because of her pregnancy status, race, and national origin. Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities After an employee's child is born, an employer might treat the employee less favorably not because of the prior pregnancy, but because of the worker's caregiving responsibilities. This situation would fall outside the parameters of the PDA. However, as explained in the Commission's Enforcement Guidance: Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities May 23, although caregiver status is not a prohibited basis under the federal equal employment opportunity statutes, discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities may be actionable when an employer discriminates based on sex or another characteristic protected Lsdies federal law.
For example, an employer violates Title VII by denying job opportunities to women -- but not men -- with young children, or by reasing a woman recently returned from pregnancy-related medical leave or parental leave to less desirable work based on the assumption that, as a new mother, she will be less committed to her job. An employer also violates Title VII by denying Ladies seeking sex Douglas Alabama male caregiver leave to care for an infant but granting such leave to a female caregiver, or by discriminating against a Latina working mother based on stereotypes about working mothers and hostility towards Latinos generally.
An employer who seeks to prove a BFOQ must show that pregnancy actually interferes with a female employee's ability to perform the job,  and the defense must be based on objective, verifiable skills required by the job rather than vague, subjective standards. The defense cannot be based on fears of danger to the employee or her fetus, fears of potential tort liability, assumptions and stereotypes about the employment characteristics of pregnant women Alabamz as their turnover rate, or customer preference.
Disparate Impact Title VII is violated if a facially neutral policy has a disproportionate adverse effect on women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions and the employer cannot show that the policy is job related Diuglas the position in question and consistent with business necessity.
However, statistical evidence might not be required if it could be shown that all or substantially all pregnant women would be negatively affected by the challenged policy. At the interview, the hiring official told her the job requirements and asked if she would be able to meet them. One of the requirements was the ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
Carol said that she could not meet the lifting Douhlas because she was pregnant but otherwise would be able to meet the job requirements. She was not hired.
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