We recently posted about the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan’s focus on “Eliminating Barriers in Recruitment and Hiring.” http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/sep.cfm As part of that plan, the EEOC has been bringing an increasing number of cases against employers who refuse to hire pregnant women.
Yesterday, the EEOC reported about another new case against an employer for refusing to hire a pregnant applicant. The EEOC’s complaint alleges that during the interview, the employer asked the applicant a number of pregnancy-related questions such as: how many months she was pregnant; her due date, her childcare and maternity leave plans. When the employer called to tell the applicant she did not get the job, he told her to call back after she had the baby and had her childcare plans in place. http://eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-2-13a.cfm Based on these facts, the EEOC alleges that the employee was not hired because she was pregnant.
Regardless of whether the EEOC prevails, the case makes clear that, when considering a pregnant job applicant, employers may not ask pregnancy-related questions and may not treat a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.