File it under ‘Bad HR ideas’

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in HR Management,Human Resources

New York City-based Institute for Integrative Nutrition took career planning a bit too far when its HR department created a chart listing every female staff member, her marital status and whether or not she had children. Then HR asked managers to predict if and when each woman might be expected to become pregnant and have to take maternity leave.

You’ll never guess what happened!

Three women whose names appeared on the chart did indeed get pregnant—and each promptly experienced an adverse employment action. All three were demoted, suffered a pay cut and eventually lost their jobs.

The women first filed EEOC complaints—and then a class-action lawsuit alleging sex discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, retaliation and interference with their FMLA rights. Now a federal court has green-lighted a jury trial.

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