City of Tulsa settles pregnancy discriminition case

posted by Spencer Bryan  |  Feb 23, 2015 08:40 AM [EST]  |  applies to Oklahoma

The City of Tulsa has settled a pregnancy discrimination case filed by a former employee in the public works department.  In 2011, the City of Tulsa hired Qamar Herd three weeks before her scheduled delivery, but when Herd requested four days of maternity leave, the City denied her request and terminated her employment for failing to appear in the workplace on the day she gave birth.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 makes it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of her pregnancy.

The City of Tulsa argued that it fired Ms. Herd because she missed work, and not because of her pregnancy.  But Paul Zachary, the Department head for the Public Works Department testified that he never would have hired Ms. Herd if it was known that she was pregnant, and City admitted that Ms. Herd did, in fact, disclose her pregnancy to the City more than four months before she started.

The City also asserted that Ms. Herd was not entitled to leave without pay because she was a probationary employee, and that City practices do not permit probationary employees to take leave without pay.  However, the City was forced to produce records demonstrating that it provided leave without pay to the probationary employee the City hired to replace Ms. Herd.

Following her termination, Herd and her young family were forced to seek employment elsewhere.  They eventually relocated to Rogers, Arkansas.

If you have questions about pregnancy discrimination, or employment discrimination generally, contact the attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law, 918-935-2777.

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