Zorayda Moreira-Smith was offered a job at the law firm in January of 2011, but lost it on Jan. 6 when she mentioned she was pregnant. Now the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission is suing the Washington D.C. Law firm, James E. Brown & Associates PLLC, for discriminatory hiring with regard to pregnancy. The firm was sued this Thursday.
Lynette A. Barnes, of the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, said in a statement that “Working women who choose to have children cannot be penalized or treated differently from other employees simply because thy are pregnant. Employers must remember that refusing to hire a woman because she is pregnant violates federal law, and the EEOC will enforce that law.”
She was referring specifically to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. No employer is allowed to discriminate employment opportunities in reference to the pregnancy status of an applicant.
Zorayda’s offer was rescinded the day she asked about maternity leave policy and announced that she was six months pregnant. The job had since been filled in February by two other associates who were not pregnant.
The EEOC has received 5,800 complaints of pregnancy discrimination in 2011 alone. They exist to protect their clients from employment discrimination.