Imagine requiring a job applicant to reveal whether she is pregnant. That’s bad!
And what if that was a company policy? That’s worse.
But, let’s suppose that the company’s policy of disclosing pregnancies is IN WRITING.
These are just some of the allegations from a new complaint that the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed against a Midwest nursing care facility. Here’s more from the EEOC press release:
Julianne Bowman, the district director of the EEOC’s office in Chicago, said that the EEOC’s pre-suit investigation revealed that [the employer] had a written policy that required pregnant women to disclose their pregnancies. There was no similar written policy requiring other, non-pregnant employees to disclose medical information. Further, pregnant employees were forced to get doctor’s notes indicating that they could work without restrictions, even if they were not asking for an accommodation. Pregnant employees who did have restrictions and who had not worked for [the employer] for a year were fired, and [the employer] categorized them as ineligible for rehire.
We’ve got ADA violations for non-work-related medical examinations, stereotyping, disparate treatment. If true, the EEOC will be shooting fish in a barrel. Ain’t that right, Ms. Bowman?
“This kind of disparate treatment of pregnant employees backed up by written employment policies is unlawful discrimination, plain and simple,” said Bowman.
For what it’s worth, these are just EEOC allegations that the administrative agency must prove in a court of law. But, I don’t envy the legal team defending the employer here.