EEOC: Hospital Violated Title VII by Not Accommodating High-Risk Pregnant Employee

Whether an employer has to reasonably accommodate a pregnant employee as it would a nonpregnant employee is an issue now before the U.S. Supreme Court. In the meantime, the EEOC has sued another employer, claiming that it violated Title VII By denying a pregnant employee an accommodation even though it had accommodated a male employee with a temporary impairment.

The EEOC took up the cause this week of a female employee at Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago who claimed that rather than accommodate her high-risk pregnancy, it denied her an accommodation and fired her.

According to the complaint, Roseland refused to accommodate the employee consistent with her medical restrictions by not requiring her to be available to restrain disorderly and combative patients, and went on to fire her.  On the other hand, a male security guard with an injury sought an accommodation so that he would not be required to restrain patients, and he was assigned to a desk job.

“You can’t deny a female employee a temporary change in her duties due to her pregnancy while providing the same accommodation to a man. That’s pregnancy discrimination and it can’t pass muster under federal law,” said John Rowe, director of the EEOC’s Chicago district office.

Read more about the case.




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