Beehive of Vernal, Inc., pays $22,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). The lawsuit was the result of a failed attempt to settle the case by both parties. According to published accounts Beehive’s owner offered an assistant manager’s job to a replacement upon learning of the assistant manager’s pregnancy. This would constitute pregnancy discrimination because they are treating the pregnant employee different than other employees based on her pregnancy.
To make matters worse, the owner repeatedly asked her when she planned to stop working. Unless he asked this question of all employees this is discrimination. I really can’t believe this owner would treat a pregnant woman this way. The owner also subjected the pregnant woman to closer scrutiny, ultimately compelling her to quit. When an employee is forced to quit it is referred to as a constructive discharge. In Illinois it is a violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act (“Act”) to discriminate against someone based on pregnancy. It is also a violation of federal law to discriminate against someone for the same reason. Additionally, if you force an employee to quit because you make work difficult for them, it is an additional charge of discrimination.
“Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. The EEOC is steadfast in its commitment to assist victims of all forms of employment discrimination.” said EEOC attorney Rayford Irvin.