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Claims of Pregnancy Discrimination on the Rise

March 30, 2008

A spike to record levels in pregnancy-discrimination complaints to regulators suggests more women are speaking up about suspected workplace bias.

Pregnancy-bias complaints recorded by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission surged 14% last year to 5,587, up 40% from a decade ago and the biggest annual increase in 13 years.

And that “may be only the tip of the iceberg,” an EEOC spokesman says. The agency also received 20,400 pregnancy-bias inquiries at its call center last year, the center’s first full year of operation; that doesn’t include thousands more walk-ins asking about the same topic at fair-employment offices. An advocacy group, 9to5, National Association of Working Women, also is seeing an increase in pregnancy-bias calls on its hotline.

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