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Manhattan store settles pregnancy discrimination lawsuit

Workers’ rights laws aimed at eliminating discrimination from the workplace apply to every stage of the employment process. Oftentimes, it seems from media reports that a wrongful termination is needed to cement an employment law claim. However, many disputes arise at other stages; a worker may have a claim if discriminatory practices have been involved in a demotion or a failure to promote an employee.

Turn back the clock to the hiring stage - - employment laws intended to eradicate discrimination in the workplace would have little bearing if a worker could never get in the door in the first place.

A store in Manhattan has agreed to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit that alleged the furniture store refused to hire a woman after learning that she was pregnant. The woman applied for a job as a controller. She went through several interviews, and the response from the company was promising. Not only did the woman receive positive feedback after interviewing for the job, she was offered the position.

The woman was working with a staffing agency. The staffing company informed the president store that the woman was pregnant and things took a drastic turn related to the job offer, according to the employment law litigation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that the president of the store withdrew the job offer and hired someone else.

The store recently agreed to settle the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit for monetary damages and other relief. Workers’ rights laws provide a variety of protections against discriminatory practices in the workplace.

When it comes to pregnancy, an employer is prohibited from making adverse employment decisions against a woman based upon the pregnancy, or based upon pregnancy related medical conditions. In addition, the EEOC says that workplace harassment based upon a pregnancy is unlawful discrimination.

Source: EEOC, “Benhar Office Interiors to Pay $90,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Suit,” April 17, 2014

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