Worse yet, the employer is a hospital!!!
Now, remember that what I’m about to share with you are allegations from a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission press release, which the EEOC will eventually have to prove to be true.
But, hold up! Before I spill the tea, I cordially invite you to join me and my FisherBroyles employment law partner, Gordon Berger, for The Employer Handbook Zoom Office House on Friday at Noon ET. Register here.
We’re going to cover all the employment law that we can in one hour, but especially pending employment law legislation, independent contractors vs. employees, your Q&A. (Pro Tip: You can cut to the front of the line by emailing me your questions now.
So, about that EEOC lawsuit…dayum!
According to the EEOC’s complaint, [a woman], who was pregnant at the time, was hired by [the defendant] as an EMS dispatcher. She completed a background check, drug test, and health screening and was scheduled to start work. However, [the new hire] was hospitalized and diagnosed with preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication affecting the circulatory system, causing high blood pressure and risk to internal organs.
The EEOC said that five days before her start date, while in the hospital where she was induced into early labor due to her condition and was awaiting the birth of her son, [the new hire] emailed [the defendant’s] human resource department about her diagnosis and induction and asked what steps she needed to take next. Within hours, she received a voicemail from [the defendants] withdrawing her offer of employment, even though she needed only the minor accommodation of delaying her start date by several weeks.
Now, folks, remember on Monday, when I blogged here about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a pending bill that would require ADA-style accommodations for pregnant individuals? Well, New Jersey, where this particular employer operates, already has that.
Notwithstanding, the EEOC alleges here that the employer failed to accommodate a pregnancy-related disability, which falls invokes the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the employer could have provided this individual with a reasonable accommodation without incurring any undue hardship, it should have done so.
Again, we don’t know all the facts of this case. But, I suspect that the employer may want to whip out the ol’ checkbook and settle this soon.