Quick Hit: Pregnancy Discrimination Galore at Bloomberg LP

Bloomberg LP, the news and financial data corporation founded by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is being charged with 58 cases of pregnancy discrimination. So far.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the charges in September when they had 3 cases, in which they now have 58 women who say their duties were reduced, or that they had been excluded from employment opportunities because they were pregnant:

The EEOC lawsuit claims the company discriminated against pregnant employees by cutting their pay and demoting them. It also claims the women were paid less when they returned from maternity leave and were demoted and replaced by ‘junior’ male employees.

The sad part is that I’m not surprised. At all.

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14 Comments

  1. everybodyever
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t be surprised, either. However, from a legal standpoint, I think the headline of this post is misleading, given that the only news is that more women have signed onto the suit. Bloomberg hasn’t admitted to anything. As is, your headline seems unintentionally to conflate allegations with fact. Can I recommend a change here…?

  2. leah
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Surprising? Yes and no.
    No, in that, I know this shit happens all the time.
    Yes, in that, for once something is being DONE about it and it is getting PUBLICITY. Which is good. It’s bad that it had to happen in the first place, but I think a high-profile case like this will lend visibility to pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, it will say to employers NO it’s NOT OK and you WILL get your ass dragged to court so don’t do it and, most importantly, to women who have been discriminated against, it will say YES you CAN speak up.
    I wish the plaintiffs the best!

  3. GopherII
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink
  4. Carrie
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    1. When are companies/gov’t going to realize that our whole society is responsible for future generations? It is ridiculous to penalize females just because they happen to carry the next generation within their body for 9-10 months.
    2. After 11.5 years of working in corporate America, I can confirm that I know just as many men who disrupt company time for “family” issues whether it be on the phone arranging child schedules, staying home with a sick child, or using the internet to do any number of family-related tasks.

  5. Destra
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    The kind of companies who perpetrate this kind of discrimination is usually run by a man who says he upholds family values. Where’s the support of the family when you kick a pregnant lady to the ground? Kinda makes you not want to have a kid. Look at Japan: one of their reasons for their negative birth rate is that women want less and less to have children because they know that they will lose or harm their careers.

  6. Medical Student29
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    After 11.5 years of working in corporate America, I can confirm that I know just as many men who disrupt company time for “family” issues whether it be on the phone arranging child schedules, staying home with a sick child, or using the internet to do any number of family-related tasks.
    Sorry I have to call BS on that. Women take more time off and rearrange schedules to accomodate “family issues” more often than men do.
    Men generally speaking dont give a fuck about raising kids, thats why they are more often willing to put in 100 hours a week to get to that CEO spot. Less women are willing to put up with those ridiculous workhours to get to the very top.

  7. owo9ja
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The kind of companies who perpetrate this kind of discrimination is usually run by a man who says he upholds family values. Where’s the support of the family when you kick a pregnant lady to the ground? Kinda makes you not want to have a kid. Look at Japan: one of their reasons for their negative birth rate is that women want less and less to have children because they know that they will lose or harm their careers.
    _____________
    this just isnt true. i’m very surprised at this but let’s not forget these are just allegations.
    to those saying this is something that comes out of male run companies, think again. im currently plaintiff’s attorney in a case where a pregnant woman is suing her former employers., the company was started by and run almost entirely by women, so you guys need to let go of the stereotypes.

  8. Mina
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    “‘After 11.5 years of working in corporate America, I can confirm that I know just as many men who disrupt company time for ‘family’ issues whether it be on the phone arranging child schedules, staying home with a sick child, or using the internet to do any number of family-related tasks.’
    Sorry I have to call BS on that. Women take more time off and rearrange schedules to accomodate ‘family issues’ more often than men do.”
    Carrie said that she knows just as many men who disrupt company time for “family” issues. You’re saying that in general men don’t take just as much time off and rearrange schedules to accomodate “family issues.” I can see how *both* can be true at the same time – for example, maybe Carrie’s coworkers over the past 11.5 years aren’t a representative sample of the workers in the study you have in mind.

  9. scumbagdivorcelawyer
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    As wrong as this is, what do you think about women who take maternity leave, have their job held open for months (as required by law) and then decide not to come back? This happened at my tiny, tiny office. I really felt angry at the person who did this because we all pitched in to keep her position open and took on her work while she was gone, and then one week before she was supposed to come back, guess what? My boss was completely left in the lurch to hire someone new. In fact, I think she had always intended to spend some time looking for a new job while on leave, but wanted to keep her options open. We all suspected she wouldn’t be coming back, but you can’t do anything about it. If this had happened at a big company it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but at a small office it is still affecting our work and business.

  10. Posted May 4, 2008 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    As wrong as this is, what do you think about women who take maternity leave, have their job held open for months (as required by law) and then decide not to come back?
    While I understand the pressures put upon a woman’s coworkers when she is on maternity leave, it is not her fault or her responsibility to redistribute her workload once she has gone on leave. If a worker’s absence is going to put undue pressure on an employer’s other workers, they should hire temporary maternity cover, even if part time, to relieve that workload while a woman takes leave that she is legally entitled to.
    I understand that small businesses don’t have huge budgets to work with and so cut corners when it comes to paid leave, but it is not the obligation of the women concerned to worry about how her employers will deal with her departure. I certainly don’t condone waiting until one week before one is meant to return to quit but if it is within her legal rights to do so, we shouldn’t be blaming new mothers but looking at why maternity leaves are so insufficient as to make so many women leave their jobs after having a baby and why employers are not properly budgeting for such instances. Maternity leave is not a luxury, it is a legal right and until companies (even small businesses) start treating it as such, this cycle will continue, making for resentful employees, guilt-ridden new mothers and employers unwilling to hire women of child-bearing age.

  11. Posted May 4, 2008 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    With both my pregnancies, I dealt with discrimination. During the first pregnancy, I applied for another job within the same company that I was completely qualified for, but never even got an interview. I ended up at a new job, that I thought would be more progressive. I found out I was pregnant within the first week of my employment there. I waited the customary 2 months to tell anyone. During this time, I got lots of good feedback on my work and lots of talk about how everyone was so happy to have the position filled. Once I announced my pregnancy to my boss (a mother herself), within a week my hours were reduced from 40 hours/week to 20 hours/week — which barely covered the cost of daycare, parking, commuting, etc. Additionally, the training that I had been promised in the hiring process was suddenly shelved… and then, I was brought up on probation for my job performance. I got the distinct feeling that they were trying to push me out. But the joke was on them, because I knew that job hunting during my 2nd trimester was not going to be very effective (who was going to hire someone with a baby bump? yea right). My employment ended after the baby was born, when he was 11 months old, my husband had to transfer for his work and we moved to another state. My boss blocked my attempts to transfer to the branch of the company located in our new location.
    Fun. Did I mention I worked for a subsidiary of Tyco?

  12. david
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    We are very good at saying that the future mother should not suffer at all or be discriminated against for being pregnant, and that is very true. The problem (ie the reason for the discrimination) in my opinion has one of purely economic reasons (not misogyny or anything liket that. When a women takes time off to have a kid, she and society recieve the benifit, and the company pays all the expenses. This is called freeloading. The problem is that companies incure costs and more or less no benifits by having a women take maternity leave. That is why they discriminate. If we want to end discrimination, we need to charge those benifiting for the cost of the benifits, not the company that does not benifit. What I am saying is that the company needs to be reinbursded for the cost of hiring temporary labor, training that labor, covering shifts… If the company were not forced to pay for benifits that it does not really enjoy, then it would not discrminate. If we want to end maternity discrimination, we need to reinburse companies out of tax dollars or through some other means, but the company cannot be forced to pay for the benifits they do not enjoy.

  13. noname
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    â€?While I understand the pressures put upon a woman’s coworkers when she is on maternity leave, it is not her fault or her responsibility to redistribute her workload once she has gone on leave.â€? – noblesavage
    Of course it is her fault. She was one of two people involved in creating the baby, and she had sole power, ultimately, in the decision to have it. It is the company’s responsibility to redistribute the work as best it can when confronted with the situation, of course.

  14. Carmen Govani
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    The mayor of New York Michael Blooberg named an event “a senseless and cowardly attack” and has promised, that the authorities will punish the guilty.

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