Before female employees in Texas and elsewhere are ready to bring new babies into the world, many want to continue to work for as long as possible. Although most are able to continue working, reasonable accommodations may be necessary, so the women can do their jobs without endangering their unborn babies. Businesses that engage in unlawful conduct, including pregnancy discrimination and the denial of reasonable accommodations, should be held accountable under the law.
A group of women who were employed by Allsup’s Convenience Stores, Inc, allege they were discriminated against due to their pregnancies. According to the complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the plaintiffs were either forced to take leave before they were ready or fired based on their disabilities. When the women asked for reasonable accommodations to their schedules or job duties, which would have allowed them to continue working, they claim their requests were denied.
Representatives of the EEOC commented that many pregnant workers are eligible for job modifications because of temporary pregnancy-related disabilities and medical conditions that are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. When reasonable accommodations are requested, employers must make efforts to meet them, so women can continue working. The unfair treatment of pregnant women is unlawful and considered discrimination.
Allsup’s has over 300 stores across New Mexico and Texas. This lawsuit was filed in a federal court after attempts at pre-litigation negotiations failed. Allsup’s is being accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as it is amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Aggrieved women in similar situations may be awarded financial redress for what they endured, as well as potentially being reinstated into their former positions, if warranted.
Source: myhighplains.com, “Allsup’s Sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission”, Karl Wehmhoener, Sept. 30, 2015