Saturday, July 26 2014 9:16 AM EDT2014-07-26 13:16:08 GMT
Police are searching for two men who carjacked an SUV and plowed into a group of children and adults selling fruit at a Philadelphia street corner, killing three kids and seriously injuring two women.More >>
Police are searching for two men who carjacked an SUV and plowed into a group of children and adults selling fruit to raise money for their church, killing three siblings and critically injuring their mother and the...More >>
Saturday, July 26 2014 6:44 AM EDT2014-07-26 10:44:31 GMT
The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director; a day after he was fired they're performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.More >>
Having forced out a beloved football coach and watched its president retire after a series of verbal gaffes, Ohio State University again finds itself grabbing headlines with the firing of a celebrated marching band...More >>
Saturday, July 26 2014 6:44 AM EDT2014-07-26 10:44:13 GMT
A federal judge has dismissed a Wyoming man's lawsuit claiming a group secretly found the missing airplane of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in the South Pacific but kept it quiet so it could continue to raise...More >>
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a Wyoming man's claims that an aircraft recovery group secretly found wreckage of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart's missing airplane in the South Pacific but kept it quiet so it...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:56:40 GMT
Police have arrested the foster parent of a 10-month-old girl who died after being left inside a hot car in Wichita, Kansas.More >>
A 10-month-old Kansas girl died after being strapped for more than two hours inside a sweltering car, and police arrested a foster parent who said he'd forgotten about her until something on TV jogged his memory, an...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:33:36 GMT
U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent - and unusual - request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't...More >>
U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 9:35 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:35:42 GMT
A large family that lives at the shore and suffered losses during Superstorm Sandy will share a $20 million lottery jackpot that one of the 17 siblings said will be "a great pick-me-up."More >>
A lottery-playing tradition started by the matriarch of a large New Jersey shore family paid off for her 17 children this week when the group won a $20 million jackpot that will partly be used to help family members...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:32:57 GMT
An 80-year-old man who came home to find two burglars said he shot and killed one of them despite her pleas that she was pregnant, but it's the woman's alleged accomplice who has been arrested on suspicion...More >>
Prosecutors Friday were waiting for the results of a police investigation into the killing of a burglar by an 80-year-old California homeowner who says he shot the woman in the back as she fled his home and ran down an...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 9:15 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:15:50 GMT
A federal appeals court is upholding a Florida law that restricts what doctors can discuss about guns with their patients.More >>
A Florida law restricting what doctors can tell patients about gun ownership was deemed to be constitutional Friday by a federal appeals court, which said it legitimately regulates professional conduct and doesn't...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:05:50 GMT
It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures.More >>
It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures. They're grocery store owners.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:44:45 GMT
Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her vehicle at gunpoint, drove off but later lost control and plowed into a group of people on a corner near a fruit stand in Philadelphia on Friday, police said. Two...More >>
Two men carjacked a woman at gunpoint but soon sped out of control, killing three children Friday as they plowed into a group selling fruit to raise money for their church, Philadelphia police said.More >>
Unaccompanied minors enroll in US schools, presenting opportunities and extra costsMore >>
Unaccompanied minors enroll in US schools, presenting opportunities and extra costsMore >>
By TOM RAUM Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - Pregnant women have new protections against on-the-job discrimination.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has updated 30-year-old guidelines to make clear that any form of workplace discrimination or harassment against pregnant workers by employers is a form of sex discrimination and illegal.
"Despite much progress, we continue to see a significant number of charges alleging pregnancy discrimination, and our investigations have revealed the persistence of overt pregnancy discrimination, as well as the emergence of more subtle discriminatory practices," EEOC Chairwoman Jacqueline A. Berrien said in a statement.
The guidelines prohibit employers from forcing pregnant workers to take leave and acknowledge that "employers may have to provide light duty for pregnant workers." After childbirth, lactation is now covered as a pregnancy-related medical condition.
It's not just women who will benefit.
The guidelines say that when it comes to parental leave, "similarly situated" men and women must be treated on the same terms.
The update comes two weeks after the Supreme Court agreed to consider a case involving the EEOC's duty to try to settle charges of job discrimination before filing lawsuits against employers.
The issue has gained increasing attention and has vexed business groups as the Obama administration ratchets up its enforcement of the nation's anti-discrimination laws.
The latest EEOC data shows a 46 percent increase in pregnancy-related complaints to the EEOC from 1997 to 2011.
In its report, the agency cites specific, real-life examples of what it considers illegal discrimination. It used only first names and did not reveal locations, occupations or employers. Among them:
- Three months after "Maria" told her supervisor that she was pregnant, she was absent a few days due to an illness unrelated to her pregnancy. When she returned to work, "her supervisor said her body was trying to tell her something" and she was let go.
- Shortly after Teresa informed her supervisor of her pregnancy, "he met with her to discussed alleged performance problems." Even though Teresa had consistently received outstanding performance reviews during her eight years of employment with the company, she was discharged.
- Birah, a woman from Nigeria, claimed that when she was visibly pregnant with her second child, "her supervisors increased her workload and shortened her deadlines so she could not complete her assignments , ostracized her, repeatedly excluded her from meetings to which she should have been invited, reprimanded her for failing to show up for work due to snow when others were not reprimanded, and subjected her to profanity."
The pregnancy discrimination guidelines, which had last been updated in 1983, spell out for the first time how the Americans With Disabilities Act might apply to pregnant workers. And it emphasizes that any discrimination against female workers based on past or prospective future pregnancies is also illegal.
Protections for pregnant women vary widely around the globe - as does enforcement. Sweden bans discrimination because of pregnancy and requires companies employing more than 25 people to help both men and women combine work and parenting. Egyptian laws give pregnant women the right to work fewer hours and three months' paid leave after birth - requirements women's rights groups say prompt employers to hire men. And in Mexico, laws prohibit discrimination against pregnant women, but there is little enforcement by the government.
The American Civil Liberties Union welcomed the updated U.S. guidelines, which were approved Monday on a 3-2 partisan-line vote by the Democratic-led commission.
"Pregnancy is not a justification for excluding women from jobs that they are qualified to perform, and it cannot be a basis for denying employment or treating women less favorably than co-workers," said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office.
Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, called the new guidelines "a powerful tool in the effort to eradicate the unlawful and unequal treatment of pregnant women in the workplace."
Joan C. Williams, a law professor at the University of California's Hastings School of Law in San Francisco who testified before the EEOC on pregnancy discrimination, said it is difficult to quantify how many women would be helped by the agency's stronger stance. "I think it will make a really big difference," she said. "This is also the direction the courts have begun to go in, and that's why the EEOC said, 'Yeah, that makes sense.'"
Williams, who co-authored a 2011 study called "Pregnant, Poor and Fired," said the main impact may by erecting "very, very, simple and very, very common-sense" guideposts for EEOC investigators, as well as providing strong ammunition for employment lawyers whose clients are victims of such discrimination.
Commissioners Constance Barker and Victoria Lipnic dissented from the decision, saying the commission was overstepping its authority. Both were first appointed by Republican President George W. Bush.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been critical of EEOC decisions during the Obama years, and the EEOC matter was no exception. Randel Johnson, the chamber's vice president for labor issues, called it "an agency which often advances questionable enforcement tactics and legal theories."
The Senate is considering a closely related issue: a Democratic-sponsored bill aiming to circumvent the Supreme Court's June 30 "Hobby Lobby" decision to allow private companies to opt out of covering certain kinds of birth control. An attempt by sponsors to force the measure to a vote is expected Wednesday. However, it seems unlikely to draw the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation.
Democrats are seeking to turn the battle into a women's rights issue that can help them at the ballot box in November.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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