Law firms are employers too. And, sometimes law firms, like all employers, fail to follow the law. Earlier this week, the EEOC announced the settlement of a pregnancy discrimination claim with a Washington D.C. law firm. The firm extended a job offer to an attorney who, following the offer, e-mailed the firm and disclosed that she was six months pregnant. The prospective employee also asked about the firm’s maternity leave policy. Less than two hours after the prospective employee’s e-mail, the firm rescinded her job offer.
The firm settled the EEOC’s lawsuit for $18,000, and is subject to a consent decree that requires the firm to implement a policy that prohibits discrimination, provide EEO training to all of its personnel and post a notice to its employees about the settlement. The firm will also be monitored by the EEOC for the term of the decree (2 years).