Can a man bring a pregnancy discrimination claim? (Yeah, you read that right.)

One of your employees shows up at Human Resources with a laundry list of complaints.

It must be one of those days that end in a “y.”

This employee — let’s call him ‘Plaintiff’ because we know that’s how the court will refer to him eventually — claims that a co-worker told him that he “shouldn’t have a kid,” and in another instance stated, within hearing distance of Plaintiff, “I don’t know why he [Plaintiff] decided to have a kid.”

Another employee supposedly asked Plaintiff whether he had a good reason for having a child.

Another co-worker sprayed baby powder on Plaintiff. Later, at a work party, that same co-worker allegedly said to Plaintiff that “he believed the party was for Plaintiff’s baby because he wanted the baby to be delivered three (3) months early.”

All of this has stressed Plaintiff out — so much so that when the company eventually fired Plaintiff, he sued for pregnancy discrimination.

Before I go all Captain Obvious on you and reveal that men can’t sue for pregnancy discrimination, I want to remind you that The Employer Handbook Zoom Office Hour returns this Friday at Noon ET on Zoom.

This week, my special guest is Robin Shea. Not only one of the great management-side employment lawyers, but Robin is also Editor in Chief of one of my favorite employment law blogs, Employment & Labor Insider.

Robin will offer you an inside look at what it’s been like to litigate during COVID. Plus, Robin will reveal some key employee handbook updates and other practice steps that employers can take to avoid now the courtroom (or the Zoom courtroom) later.

Plus, we’ll have plenty of time for your questions. So, please email them to me.

If you’d like to join us on Friday at Noon on Zoom, click here to register.

Nah, dude. Dudes can’t sue for pregnancy discrimination.

I’ll let the Southern District of New York explain why:

Under Title VII, it is unlawful for an employer “to discharge. . . or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s. . . sex.” The [Pregnancy Discrimination Act] amended Title VII to clarify that the terms “because of sex” or “on the basis of sex” include, but are not limited to, “because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes. . . as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work[.]” Thus, whereas Title VII protects a pregnant employee, it does not protect an employee whose spouse is pregnant. Because plaintiff is not a member of a protected class, his Title VII claim must be dismissed for failure to state a claim. 

In other words, I think the court is telling you that it’s ok to roll your eyes at the complaining employee, stifle a snicker, and say, “Bless your heart.” Then again, maybe not.

You can read the opinion for yourself and be your own judge.

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