Thursday, September 29, 2022

Correlation isn’t necessarily causation … except when it is

According to a recently filed EEOC lawsuit, Dollar General violated Title VII by firing a sales employee because of her pregnancy. More to the point, Dollar General, the EEOC alleges, fired her immediately after she advised her manager of her pregnancy. It listed "health" as the reason for her termination on her separation notice, after advising her of concerns for her safety.

Says Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office. "A woman's decision to work while she is pregnant rests solely with her. Any employer who prevents a pregnant employee from making that decision violates her federally-protected rights." Adds Darrell Graham, district director of the EEOC's Atlanta office, "Pregnancy is no reason for an employer to assume an employee cannot work, and employers should be prevented from perpetuating this harmful patriarchal stereotype."

Correlation isn't necessary causation. But when an employee tells you she's pregnant and you immediately fire her for "health reasons"? It sure looks like pregnancy discrimination to me.