Teresa Lehman was an assistant store manager for Kohl's. Despite having the right qualifications and experience, she was passed over for promotion and transferred to poorly performing stores. The reason? She became pregnant. Her employer made it plain that women in their childbearing years were not promotable -- according to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer,
the women who were promoted either were child-free or promised not to have more children, and Lehman's boss asked her questions about whether she was going to get pregnant again, whether she had had her tubes tied, and whether she was breastfeeding. The jury was clearly disturbed by the blatant discrimination and awarded Lehman $2.1 million, plus attorney's fees.
Coming on the heels of the new EEOC enforcement guidance on caregiver discrimination
, this case illustrates the maternal wall many women face in the workplace. It also illustrates how costly family responsibilities discrimination can be for employers.