EEOC Sues on Behalf of Female Job Applicant Allegedly Fired For Deceipt Over Her Pregnancy

Is it a legitimate defense to a claim of pregnancy discrimination that the alleged victim lied about her pregnancy when applying for the job? That could be a point of contention in a Title VII lawsuit that the EEOC filed today against CFS Health Management Inc., d/b/a Shefa Wellness Center, a Canton, Ga., medical practice specializing in cosmetic skin care treatments.

According to the EEOC’s suit, the company fired April Raines, a newly-hired  licensed skin care therapist just two days after she told the owner about her pregnancy. At the time, Raines had only worked for the company for approximately two weeks. The agency alleges that when Raines questioned why she was terminated, the employer told her that she had deceived the company by not disclosing her pregnancy during the interview.

Title VII doesn’t precisely prohibit pre-employment questions about pregnancy, but if you’re going to ask a woman about whether she is pregnant or wants to become pregnant, you should be prepared to ask a man whether he is about to become a father or expects to be. So the best advice is don’t ask these questions of applicants of either gender.

Anyway, I suspect that the employer’s asserted defense in this case is a steep climb, because it shouldn’t have asked the question in the first place.

Here’s more on the lawsuit.


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