DENVER — A Colorado law firm has agreed to pay a $30,000 settlement to resolve charges by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Agency (EEOC) that the firm fired a legal assistant after learning she was pregnant.
According the EEOC, The Bendinelli Law Firm hired a legal assistant at its Denver office and after 10 days, she disclosed her pregnancy to one of the firm's attorneys. The EEOC alleges the firm fired the employee the next day and asked her if she had any complications from the pregnancy, if she would "keep the baby" and if she was a surrogate.
The law firm said it fired the legal assistance for not disclosing her pregnancy during the interview, which the federal agency challenged as discriminatory, the EEOC said.
"We want job applicants to know that they do not have to tell prospective employers that they are pregnant or answer any questions about it," EEOC Phoenix District director Elizabeth Cadle said in a statement.
"Employers must not discriminate based on pregnancy or on any pregnancy-related reason, including but not limited to an employee's need for pregnancy leave,"added EEOC Phoenix District regional attorney Mary Jo O'Neill.
The settlement also includes requiring the law firm to adopt and maintain policies and practices free of pregnancy discrimination as well as posting an employee notice regarding Title VII provisions and employee's rights, according to the EEOC.