ACLU Settles Sex Discrimination Case of Pregnant Employee Fired From Religiously Affiliated Organization

Affiliate: ACLU of Ohio
February 18, 2015 12:00 am

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DAYTON, OHIO – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Ohio reached settlement in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a single mother who alleged she was fired from a religiously affiliated organization because she became pregnant.

The defendant, Inside Out, is a Christian-based childcare facility in Springfield, Ohio, that employed Jennifer Maudlin as a cook. Maudlin alleged in the 2013 lawsuit that she was fired under an unwritten company policy against non-marital sex when she informed them of her pregnancy.

"This is America where no one should lose their job because they have decided to have a family – whether they are male or female, married or single," said Jennifer Maudlin. "I hope my experience will empower other women to stand up to sex discrimination in the workplace."

The complaint cited a pattern of hostile treatment toward unmarried women who became pregnant while working at Inside Out, though men who were single fathers or who were known to have engaged in non-marital sex were not subject to the same treatment.

Ms. Maudlin sought damages and the adoption of a policy that prohibited discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. The parties reached a mutually satisfactory settlement, including Inside Out making changes to its employment policies.

"No one should be singled out, shamed, or fired from their job for having a baby, regardless of marital status," said Galen Sherwin, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. "An organization’s religious affiliation should not give it free rein to ignore laws against sex discrimination."

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