Penalty Flag for Employer Who Bumps Pregnant Employee from Shift

On November 28, 2011, the EEOC announced a settlement with an Arizona restaurant that refused to schedule a pregnant employee to work on Sundays during football season.  The restaurant was alleged to have barred the pregnant employee from the lucrative Sunday shift because male customers did not wish to see a pregnant women while they watched football games.  The employer denied the EEOC’s allegations, but paid $15,000 to settle the lawsuit and agreed to take other actions to avoid sex and pregnancy discrimination.

The lesson, as summarized by the EEOC: “Employers cannot disadvantage the terms and conditions of a pregnant employee’s work to satisfy an assumed customer preference about the physical appearance of employees, which is likely untrue in any event.”



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