AT&T Mobility sued for pregnancy discrimination

AT&T Mobility employees in Tennessee may be interested to learn that two women filed a lawsuit against the company claiming that they were terminated for pregnancy-related absences. The lawsuit said that terminating them for this reason was a violation of the nation's federal anti-discrimination laws.

According to the women, the company had an attendance policy that assigned points for absences, late arrivals and early departures. Both women were reportedly terminated after they had absences associated with pregnancy-related medical care. One of the women was also given points for an absence after her infant son suffered a medical emergency. One of the women had her child in June 2015 and returned to work in July 2015. She was fired two days after returning to work for two pre-leave pregnancy-related absences.

This type of attendance policy, known as a "no-fault" attendance policy, is particularly common in businesses that have a large number of employees. It is used to determine which lower-level employees have unauthorized absences regardless of the reason for those absences. One of the women said in the lawsuit that this policy caused her to have to decide between her job and having a safe pregnancy.

Employers are not legally allowed to discriminate against employees for their race, gender, sex or pregnancy status. If a person is terminated due to workplace discrimination, that employee may have valid grounds to file a claim against his or her former employer. An employment law attorney may go over the evidence to determine whether or not the employer's actions were discriminatory. If there is evidence, the attorney may represent the employee when a potential settlement is being negotiated. If no settlement is reached, the attorney might litigate.

Source: Chicago Law Bulletin, "Suit accuses AT&T branch of pregnancy bias", David Crary, 05/15/2018

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