Managers’ e-Mails give life to pregnancy case — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Beverly Health and Rehabilitation Services’ long-term care facility in Richland hired Barbara Stager in September 2003. Her position included both medical and marketing responsibilities.

One month later, Stager informed manager Erin McAndrew that she was pregnant. When McAndrew asked whether she intended to return full time after giving birth, Stager said yes.

In April 2004, management told Stager it was eliminating her job because of a decreased need for marketing. Stager gave birth a month later.

In July 2004, Beverly internally advertised a newly created position that combined admissions and restorative nursing. Stager applied for the new position, but did not qualify because she is not a licensed nurse.

That’s when Stager sued for pregnancy discrimination.

In court, Stager produced e-mail exchanges between company managers that revealed they had been interested in hiring a specific candidate for the new position as far back as March. That same month, in e-mails discussing Stager’s schedule at work, managers referred to Stager as “high maintenance” and called her a “princess.” “Let’s see if we can nip this,” a director wrote under the subject line “FMLA.”

The court said it had “little trouble concluding” that Stager had established a prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination. Now Beverly Health and Rehabilitation Services will have to defend itself before a trial court.

Note: Remind managers they should never write anything in an e-mail that they would not want to see again in a deposition.

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