Being pregnant and anticipating the birth of your child is one of the happiest moments in a woman’s life. But dealing with an employer who comments about your pregnancy and then fires you after giving birth, probably ranks as a stressful moment in your life. For a Wisconsin woman, these are just some of the emotions she faced while working for a medical staffing company.
The woman brought her case to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an organization responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination, and the federal judge sided with her and ordered the company to pay $148,340 to settle the discrimination suit. The EEOC found the company was in violation of a federal law when the owner made inappropriate remarks to the woman and fired her for wanting to take time off after her baby was born.
The company failed to respond to a court order to retain an attorney so the court entered a default judgment against the company. The judge in the case felt that the plaintiff in this case suffered emotional distress and that her termination was discriminatory. The plaintiff was also given no prior warning when the company terminated her employment and health insurance while she was in the hospital recovering from the birth of her child. She learned of her termination after she returned home by certified mail.
The court ordered the company to pay the plaintiff a total of $148,340 in damages and was ordered to stop engaging in pregnancy discrimination.
The EEOC feels that this type of discrimination must be stopped and remains a high priority for the organization.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “HCS Medical Staffing Ordered to Pay $148,0o00 for Pregnancy Discrimination by Owner,” Mar. 2, 2012