EEOC: Employer Illegally Rescinded Promotion Offer to Woman Because of Her Pregnancy

The EEOC has taken yet another employer to court over its alleged discrimination against a pregnant employee.  In this case the commission is alleging that Receivable Management, Inc., d/b/a Kramer and Associates, a debt collections firm located in Hackensack, N.J., violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by rescinding its offer to promote an employee because she was pregnant.

The EEOC charges that Carol Vartanian was offered a promotion to a managerial position, and that the company rescinded the offer after Vartanian told her supervisor that she was pregnant.

“The company told her she needed to focus on her health and that her maternity leave would coincide with tax season, the company’s busiest time of the year,” according to the EEOC’s announcement of the lawsuit.

Whether the EEOC can prove its case or not, there’s a lesson here for all employers: It’s up to the woman to decide whether she can continue to work during her pregnancy.  The employer doesn’t get to decide that.

Here’s how the EEOC put it: “When an employer acts on the paternalistic view that pregnancy diminishes a woman’s ability to work or interferes with the employer’s operations, it is a violation of federal law,” said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Rosemary DiSavino.


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