Chaminade disputes suit alleging hiring bias
Staff and news service reports
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a lawsuit that Chaminade University discriminated against a woman because she was pregnant.
In February 2004, Chie McCaughey, who was 34 at the time, was interviewed and offered an off-campus program coordinator position with the Catholic university, according to the EEOC.
After McCaughey informed them that she was four months pregnant and needed to take maternity leave at a later time, they withdrew the job offer after one business day, said Timothy Riera, director for the EEOC Honolulu office.
"Our investigation ... found that she was not hired because of her pregnancy," Riera said in a news release.
The EEOC lawsuit was filed yesterday in federal court.
"Finding out that Chaminade withdrew the job offer after I told them I was pregnant just turned my life upside down," McCaughey said in the news release. "Because my husband was away on a tour of duty in Iraq, I was alone. The news that expecting a child was an obstacle to getting hired was incredibly difficult and stressful."
McCaughey obtained a bachelor's degree in international studies from Chaminade. She also has a master's degree in education.
"Chaminade has not seen the lawsuit that the EEOC apparently filed today," Kapono Ryan, a university spokeswoman, said in a written statement. "Therefore, Chaminade cannot comment on the claims in the lawsuit, other than to state that Chaminade did not discriminate against Ms. McCaughey because of her pregnancy."
The lawsuit seeks back pay, lost wages and compensatory damages.
Among other things, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employment bias based on sex, including pregnancy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.