Human Resources News & Insights

News flash: Applicants don’t have to tell you whether or not they’re pregnant

Yes, you can fire people when you discover they were less than forthright in their interviews.  

Just not when the information withheld is their pregnancy (or some other protected medical condition). 

The EEOC recently sued Shefa Wellness Center, of Canton, GA, for terminating April Raines, a skin care specialist, almost immediately after it found out she was pregnant.

When Raines asked why she was terminated, Shefa told her she’d deceived the company by not disclosing her pregnancy during the interview, according to the EEOC.

The agency says requiring such a disclosure or firing someone because they’re pregnant is pregnancy discrimination.

To avoid litigation, Shefa is settling the suit for $37,000.

The consent decree settling the suit also says Shefa must conduct equal employment opportunity training and reporting, as well as post anti-discrimination notices in the workplace.

Robert K. Dawkins, regional attorney of EEOC’s Atlanta District, had this to say about the case:

“Firing a woman simply because she is pregnant is simply against the law. … EEOC will stand up for the rights of women to enjoy their rights to livelihood and motherhood — and not have to choose between them.”

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