Pregnant women have it a little harder than the rest of us. There’s morning sickness to contend with, to say nothing of all the other physical changes that come along with pregnancy. Furthermore, Michigan mothers will certainly tell you that carrying a baby to term makes just about everything that once was easy a lot harder. That’s why it is really too bad that there are still companies and businesses that think discrimination against pregnant women is okay.
Recently, a Milwaukee medical-staffing agency had to pay a $148,000 fine after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that it discriminated against a woman who had just given birth to a child.
The agency said that HCS Medical Staffing Inc. violated employment laws because its employees made derogatory comments about the woman’s pregnancy and then dismissed her when she asked for the maternity leave to which she was entitled. Supposedly, the owner of the agency felt the woman was trying to use her pregnancy to con the company into giving her more time off. It supposedly fired her by sending a letter to the hospital where she was recovering after giving birth.
The $148,000 represents the pay the woman would have received, plus interest and punitive and compensatory damages.
Although this woman is certainly happy to have won, it’s a shame she had to go through all this rigmarole in the first place. Employment laws have put protections in place so that a pregnancy does not negatively impact a woman’s career and those laws need to be observed.
Source: The Pioneer Press, “Milwaukee company to pay $148K for firing new mom,” March 3, 2012