by Steven Ertelt
October 4, 2007
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long been one of the most staunch abortion advocates in the country, going as far as requiring all medical students there to learn how to do abortions. Now the businesses executive is accused of fostering a climate of pregnancy discrimination at his financial information company.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Bloomberg saying he has fostered and condoned "systemic, top-down discrimination against female employees."
Three women who are high-level executives at Bloomberg brought the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against the mayor.
Tanys Lancaster, Janet Loures and Jill Patricot said they were subjected to unfair demotions and decreased compensation and were denied advancement after becoming pregnant.
A Bloomberg spokesman told Reuters news that he no longer has day-to-day control over his company and hasn’t since becoming mayor in 2001. Through the spokesperson, Bloomberg called the lawsuit a "publicity stunt."
But the EEOC alleges the culture Bloomberg cultivated in his time there persists to this day.
According to Reuters, the female employees described the Bloomberg company culture as one that "prizes physical image and once female executives announce that they are pregnant and/or become new mothers, they fall into disfavor."
The women said they were paid less after returning from maternity leave and demoted and replaced with male employees once they returned.
This isn’t the first pregnancy discrimination charge against Bloomberg.
In 1997, a female executive employee said that the mayor urged her to have an abortion after she got pregnant. He also is alleged to have complained about the number of pregnant women at his company.
The mayor settled the case out of court and did not admit any wrongdoing.
According to New York-based EEOC regional attorney Elizabeth Grossman the number of pregnancy discrimination cases is on the rise.
She says pregnancy discrimination charges filed with the EEOC and state and local agencies jumped 45 percent, from 3,385 to a record 4,901 between 1992 and 2006.
"We’re seeing more reports because pregnant women are aware of their rights and willing to fight for them," Grossman told Reuters.
"What’s surprising to me is when employers don’t want to let women come back to work after maternity leave or sometimes they come back and get demoted," she said.