Labor & Employment

1st Circuit Ruling Helps Working Moms


Workplace discrimination against pregnant women and women with children is commonplace, many suspect, but hard to prove.

But a decision yesterday (PDF) by the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may offer some relief.

Reversing a dismissal, by a federal judge in Maine, the appeals court said plaintiff Laurie Chadwick had pleaded enough to allow her federal sex discrimination complaint to proceed to trial, reports Legal Blog Watch. Chadwick claims she was passed over for a promotion in favor of a less-qualified colleague without children.

Among other allegations, Chadwick contends that when she asked her supervisor, Nanci Miller, why she didn’t get the promotion, Miller replied: “It was nothing you did or didn’t do. It was just that you’re going to school, you have the kids and you just have a lot on your plate right now.”

In addition to an 11-year-old son, Chadwick and her husband also had 6-year-old triplets at the time the promotion decision was made. Her husband was a stay-at-home dad and the primary caretaker.

Related coverage:

New York Times: “When the Stork Carries a Pink Slip”

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