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Don’t let pregnancy worries affect job assignments

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in Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

When discrimination based on pregnancy plays a part in a demotion or termination, the employee has a case under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Paternalistic beliefs that pregnant women need protection should not be part of the reason for any action, even if well-intentioned.

Recent case: Lisa went to work for a state agency, doing IT work in the field. Shortly after she announced her pregnancy, her boss (also a woman) placed Lisa at a desk job. Holland sued and her supervisor admitted that she had transferred Lisa to a desk job, fearing that she might suffer a miscarriage.

That concern cost the employer almost $100,000 after the jury sided with Lisa and concluded she had been discriminated against on account of pregnancy. (Holland v. Gee, No. 11-11659, 11th Cir., 2012)

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