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8 teachers settle their pregnancy discrimination claims for $280k

A group of eight public school teachers outside of Texas allege that they were mistreated when it was discovered that they were pregnant or once they returned to work after having their children. They claim that the school principal had found a way to get them to quit or have them terminated. The city's school board of education was accused of pregnancy discrimination in a federal lawsuit after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated the discriminatory accusations.

In 2009, the principal allegedly began to mistreat pregnant teachers and teachers who had come back to work after their pregnancy. She was accused of disciplining the teachers or giving them lower performance reviews, even if they had been excelling previously. The mistreatment and the poor reviews resulted in the women being fired or made the environment so uncomfortable that they were forced to resign.

The principal allegedly made discriminatory comments to the teachers when she learned that they were pregnant. One of the teachers who told the principal she was pregnant claims that the principal responded by asking the teacher how she could do this to the principal. She was apparently also told that the timing of her pregnancy was inconvenient. When another teacher was expressing breast milk, she claims she was asked impatiently by the principal how long she would be doing it.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that pregnancy discrimination claims were settled but still must be approved. Even though the Chicago Board of Education agreed to pay the aggrieved women $280,000 for damages and lost wages, it did not admit any wrongdoing. The settlement also includes injunctive relief that would ensure that these types of incident don't happen in the future. Women in Texas who believe they have been victimized at work due to their pregnancy have the legal right to pursue claims to attempt to correct any injustices.

Source: Yahoo News, "Chicago schools settle federal lawsuit by pregnant teachers", Mary Wisniewski, Dec. 16, 2015

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