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Feds sue Chicago schools over pregnancy bias against teachers

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The Justice Department said on Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education, alleging that the board discriminated against pregnant teachers at an elementary school.

Filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the lawsuit states that starting 2009, teachers at Scammon Elementary School were subjected to adverse personnel actions, including termination in some instances, after they announced their pregnancies. The school’s actions violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the lawsuit states.

“No woman should have to make a choice between her job and having a family,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta for the civil rights division said in a statement. “Federal law requires employers to maintain a workplace free of discrimination on the basis of sex.”

The lawsuit was filed after a joint investigation between Justice Department’s civil rights division and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“The EEOC will continue to vigorously enforce Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination against pregnant employees,” John P. Rowe, former district director of the EEOC’s Chicago district office, said in the statement.