* From a press release…
The Justice Department today announced the filing of a lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education, alleging that the board discriminated against pregnant teachers at Scammon Elementary School by subjecting them to adverse personnel actions, including termination in some instances, after they announced their pregnancies. According to the complaint, these adverse personnel actions were in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII is a federal statute that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion. The statute explicitly prohibits employers from discriminating against female employees due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that, starting in 2009, the principal at Scammon subjected female teachers to lower performance evaluations, discipline, threatened termination and/or termination because of their pregnancies. The complaint further alleges that the board approved the firing of six recently pregnant teachers employed at Scammon and forced two other recently pregnant teachers to leave Scammon. The department’s complaint seeks a court order that would require the board to develop and implement policies that would prevent its employees from being subjected to discrimination due to their pregnancies. The relief sought also includes monetary damages as compensation for those teachers who were harmed by the alleged discrimination.
Two teachers who had been pregnant while working at Scammon filed charges of sex discrimination with the Chicago District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC investigated the charges and determined that there was reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred against the two charging parties as well as against other pregnant teachers. The EEOC was unsuccessful in its attempts to conciliate the matter before referring it to the Department of Justice.
According to the suit (click here), the principal in question targeted eight pregnant teachers, effectively forcing all of them out.
How the heck does this happen? Some of the teachers were tenured, for crying out loud. And why wouldn’t the Board work out a deal with the feds?
A mayoral contender and the Chicago Teachers Union called Monday for the resignation of Chicago Board of Education member Deborah Quazzo.
They cited a Chicago Sun-Times analysis that showed companies Quazzo has an interest in have seen their business from Chicago Public Schools triple since the venture capitalist was appointed to the board last year by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
On Monday, the teachers union also renewed its call for an elected school board, but the mayor’s office would not say what Emanuel knew of Quazzo’s business interests before choosing her in June 2013.
“If she has any integrity, she has to resign,” said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), a longtime mayoral critic who’s challenging Emanuel in February’s election.
The original story is here.