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Palm Beach Schools Ordered to Pay $350,000 to Assistant Principal Demoted After Pregnancy

January 20, 2017

An assistant principal who was demoted after she became pregnant will collect $350,000 from the Palm Beach County School District.

The woman’s suit claims she was given a lower-paid job at a West Palm Beach alternative school after she became pregnant with twins. While remaining an assistant principal, she was assigned to 34 fewer days during the year, which cut her pay about $15,000, according to district records. She said the move also came after she reported allegations that another employee was being sexually harassed.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the school district on the woman’s behalf. While the district has not admitted to any illegal conduct, it has agreed to settle the case “to avoid the burdens and risks of protracted litigation,” according to reports.

The school district will pay the woman $67,000 in back pay and $283,000 in damages. The school district also has agreed to not discriminate or retaliate on the basis of pregnancy and must submit anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies to the U.S. Department of Justice within 60 days.

The School Board is also expected to revise its existing non-discrimination policies, adding pregnancy as a protected class, along with race, religion, sex, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Pregnancy discrimination is a form of employment discrimination. An employer is not allowed to let an employee’s pregnancy or maternity leave negatively impact employment decisions. Some of those negative effects include passing over the employee for a promotion, denying medical benefits, or perhaps terminating employment entirely. On a similar note, it is illegal for employers to try to dissuade an employee from taking maternity leave by implying that she may be replaced during her absence.

If you or someone you love has suffered because of pregnancy discrimination or maternity leave, our Florida Discrimination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are ready to help you get the justice you deserve. We can help you file a claim and will not charge you a cent unless or until we recover a financial award on your behalf. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.