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Better Family Life sued for taking back job offer to pregnant woman

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 25, 2009 - The EEOC in St. Louis has sued Better Family Life, Inc. for taking back a job offer because the applicant was pregnant. Better Family life styles itself as "dedicated to the prosperity and growth of the American family" and finding "internal solutions to the crises within the African-American family."

The suit, filed in federal court, maintains that in January 2009 a representative of the group called Shante Davis to see is she was interested in a job as an employment lead trainer. Davis said she was interested and set up a meeting to fill out hiring paperwork. She also told the Better Family Life representative that she was pregnant.

The suit says that on the day of the meeting scheduled to fill out paperwork, Davis received a voice-mail stating that the job offer was being withdrawn because of the pregnancy.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal to discriminate against a person on the basis of pregnancy.

Better Family Life did not immediately comment.

Barbara A. Seely, regional attorney for the EEOC in St. Louis said, "A family-oriented organization like Better Family Life should be particularly sensitive to the fact that pregnant women are capable of working and should be allowed to work."

William H. Freivogel is director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Previously, he worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 34 years, serving as assistant Washington Bureau Chief and deputy editorial editor. He covered the U.S. Supreme Court while in Washington. He is a graduate of Kirkwood High School, Stanford University and Washington University Law School. He is a member of the Missouri Bar.