It is a 6-hour drive southeast of Milwaukee to get to Florence, Kentucky. The modest city of nearly 30,000 residents has found itself at the center of a dispute over pregnancy discrimination.
Two years ago, a police officer there became pregnant. Her request for an accommodation was rejected by the Florence. Management told her that her only option was to use up her paid leave and then take unpaid leave for the duration of her pregnancy.
“The financial director of the city told me if I had planned properly that I wouldn’t have put myself in this position,” the officer recalled.
In 2014, another Florence officer became pregnant, Slate.com reports. She also asked for light duty and also had her request denied. Together, the two filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Their position was that the city violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The EEOC and Department of Justice both came down on the side of the police officers, ruling that Florence must pay $135,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees.
Unfortunately, what happened to the officers is not uncommon. According to a report from the National Partnership for Women & Families, there have been nearly 31,000 complaints filed with the EEOC and state-level agencies in the 5-year period ending in September of last year.
As we have reported in this space before, more and more workers are using employment law attorneys to take discrimination cases to court. If you need help in fighting back against your employer, you can contact the law offices of Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c., in Milwaukee.