THIS COULDN’T HAVE BEEN MUSIC TO THEIR EARS
On April 12, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it had reached a settlement with Symphony Deerbrook, LLC – a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility based out of Joliet, Illinois – for refusing to reasonably accommodate its pregnant employees. (The company is alleged to have required that it be informed of pregnancies and that a medical note be secured releasing those employees to work without restrictions.)
Since that conduct was alleged to violate The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e(K) and 2000e-(2)(a)(1), and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d)(3)(C)(4)(a), the EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois, Case No. 21cv02978, and secured a $400,000 payment which will be released to eleven impacted individuals. (In addition, the company agreed to a consent decree wherein it will refrain from discriminatory acts on the basis of a person’s pregnancy status for a two-and-a-half-year period.)
In a written statement released by the agency, Gregory Gochanour, EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago, noted, “It is established law that employers cannot require pregnant employees to subject themselves to medical exams simply to remain employed or treat them less favorably than similar non-pregnant employees.”
Thank that’ll give employers pregnant pause?
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