Pregnancy Discrimination at Work

August 31, 2015

In 2009 the ACLU of Michigan successfully lobbied for an amendment to Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act that prevents employers from treating pregnant employees differently from other employees who are similarly situated in their ability or inability to work.

Despite this provision, Hope Healthcare Center refused to accommodate Asia Myers, a pregnant employee with physician-imposed temporary restrictions due to pregnancy complications, even thought it routinely provides accommodations to non-pregnant employees with similar restrictions.

Due to Hope Healthcare’s failure to provide reasonable accommodations, Ms. Myers was forced to take leave for thirty days, without pay or health benefits, until her physician lifted the restrictions.

In October 2013 the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Myers alleging the employer’s conduct violated the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act as well as the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In August 2015, the ACLU of Michigan reached a formidable settlement that included an agreement by Hope Healthcare Center to change its policy to treat pregnant employees the same as other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. 

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