In 1978 the United States Government banned discrimination in employment but that does not stop some employers from discriminating against their employees, including pregnant women and mothers. Pregnancy discrimination is a form of employment discrimination and is illegal under both California state and federal laws.
Per previous posts, including last week’s, employment discrimination against pregnant women is a rising concern among women’s advocacy groups and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who recently held a panel discussion on the rise in pregnancy discrimination complaints. A recent story in the national media highlights one Texas teacher’s struggle with her private Christian school employer who terminated her for getting pregnant outside of marriage.
The story also highlighted other women’s struggles with religion and pregnancy around the country, including Florida and Ohio. A fourth-grade Florida teacher claims she was wrongfully terminated from her job at a non-denominational Christian school because the school’s principal learned she had conceived her child before she was married. An Atlanta appeals court is currently hearing her case.
A federal judge has approved for trial an Ohio Catholic school teacher’s lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in which she claims she was wrongfully terminated in 2010. In this case the school took issue after learning the teacher had used artificial insemination to become pregnant.
The attorney for the Texas teacher fired for becoming pregnant outside of marriage is wondering why we have these laws in the first place, if a Christian organization can claim they are not subject to state and federal employment law. The teacher said that the students she teaches and coaches, along with their parents have been very supportive of her and miss her at the school.
Source: ABC News, “Texas Teacher Fired for Unwed Pregnancy Offered to Get Married,” Christina Ng, April 11, 2012