Holy crap. Literally.
A Texas church is now about $75,000 lighter in the wallet after a federal judge determined that having and enforcing a “no pregnancy in the workplace policy,” which prohibited the continued employment of any employee who became pregnant, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That’s the law that prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy. Yeah, it says it right there.
Here’s more on the decision from the EEOC’s press release.
At some point in our careers, as lawyers and HR professionals, we field the question, “Can I require a pregnancy employee to stop working, for the safety of either the employee or fetus?” To this, I respond that you treat a pregnant employee as you would anyone else. That is, if she is willing and able to perform her job successfully, then, under Title VII, you cannot force her to stop working.