Chicago Public Schools System Faces Federal Discrimination Lawsuit

Law Firm Newswire



Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 20, 2015 – Alleged pregnancy discrimination is the reason for the departure of eight teachers from the Chicago Public Schools system at Scammon Elementary School.

The Department of Justice filed a federal lawsuit, by way of the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), on behalf of two former pregnant teachers in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system alleging that administration targeted these two women, and several others, for layoff and received poor performance ratings as a result of becoming pregnant or returning to their jobs after giving birth. The suit seeks monetary compensation and new policies to prevent discrimination.

“The most difficult factor in this particular case is that the CPS does not have clearly written policies in existence that deal with sexual harassment or discrimination and seemingly does not address what is considered to be prejudicial treatment,” says Chicago employment attorney Timothy Coffey.

Other allegations suggested that Principal Mary Weaver of Scammon Elenentary School, who is not a named defendant, did act in a calculated manner and with a set goal in mind, to shed pregnant teaching staff by looking upon them less favorably and evaluating them negatively when it came to performance evaluations. In 1978, Congress amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which protects a woman’s choice to become pregnant and still keep her job, thereby ensuring equal opportunity employment.

In response, the CPS suggested the aggrieved have no right to damages, no grounds to sue and that the eight affected women lost their jobs between 2009 and 2012 for reasons consistent with business practice. Therefore, the actions taken by Weaver in letting the women go were lawful.

“Defendants further argued that because they acted in accordance with business necessities there was no pattern or practice of discrimination and thus no motivation to terminate the affected personnel,” outlines Coffey.

According to the Chicago-Kent College of Law there appear to be good reasons that the PDA should offer a legal remedy to mothers subjected to adverse actions in their workplace as a result of being pregnant and giving birth, particularly should evidence be present that an employer’s discriminatory actions were evident during or prior to a worker’s pregnancy.

Learn more at THE COFFEY LAW OFFICE, P.C. 351 W. Hubbard Street, Suite 602 Chicago, IL 60654 Call: 312.627.9700
Loading RSS Feed