A Pregnant Employee Cannot Be Forced To Leave Her Job

  19 September 2014

As a recent case demonstrates, an employer cannot force an employee to leave her job because of concerns that she cannot perform her job duties due to the pregnancy.

In the recent case, DeHaven's Transfer & Storage, Inc., a moving company, has agreed to pay $35,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC had charged in a lawsuit that DeHaven's discriminated against a female employee when it fired her because she was pregnant. According to EEOC's complaint, around October 2013, DeHaven's hired Heather Centeno as a packer. Around April 2014, Centeno's crew leader told DeHaven's business manager that Centeno was pregnant. Subsequently, the business manager told Centeno that pregnant women should not be doing the packer job, as it was unsafe. In response, Centeno explained that her doctor said it was safe for her to work as a packer. Several weeks later, DeHaven's business manager again expressed concern to Centeno that she should not work while pregnant. The same day, the company owner allegedly told Centeno's crew leader that he should not bring Centeno to work any longer because of her size, and stated that she looked terrible. DeHaven's fired Centeno that same day. Read more here.