Pregnant employees, applicants: 3 management mistakes to avoid

by on December 19, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Cafe
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When it comes to dealing with pregnant employees or applicants, managers can get pretty creative in finding ways to mess up. For a few pertinent examples, check out three recent EEOC lawsuits:

Mistake #1. A Los Angeles-area manager for a real estate management firm had a pregnant employee who was applying for a promotion. The manager expressed concern that she would miss work, and would fail to return from maternity leave. Then the manager hired somebody else, who wasn’t pregnant, for the job. The company is now settling the pregnancy discrimination suit for $60,000.

Mistake #2. A recruiter for a St. Louis-based community development organization called an applicant on the phone to offer her a job trainer position. During the call, the applicant told the recruiter she was pregnant. The recruiter called back a few days later to rescind the offer. The organization is paying $35,000 to settle the suit.

Mistake #3. Managers at a billiard-themed sports bar in Byram, MS, told a four-months-pregnant waitress that her baby was “taking its toll” on her and fired her. Management wouldn’t let her work instead as a hostess or on a call-in basis. This suit is pending.

Bad assumptions
The EEOC is clear: Don’t make assumptions about pregnant employees’ or applicants’ abilities or inabilities. Deal with them as you would other employees or applicants.

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