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EEOC dresses down Delia’s for Lehigh pregnancy bias

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in Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Teen fashion retailer Delia’s will pay $75,000 to two former employees at the chain’s Lehigh Valley Mall store to settle pregnancy discrimination claims. Apparently, pregnant employees didn’t mesh with Delia’s brand image.

The young women—a fashion representative and a co-manager—became pregnant around the same time. According to the EEOC, which sued on the women’s behalf, Delia’s executives almost immediately began questioning their job performance and harassing them about their pregnancies.

When the fashion representative complained about the harassment, Delia’s fired her. Executives forced the co-manager to take early maternity leave even though she was able to continue working.

Both employees filed EEOC pregnancy discrimination charges.

Instead of going to trial, Delia’s decided to settle.

Note: Delia’s actually got off easily. Had the employees been eligible for leave under the FMLA, the employer could have been on the hook for retaliation for using the leave.

Employers must ensure all supervisors are trained in both the FMLA and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

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