Resist temptation to act on presumptions about pregnant employees' abilities.

Some managers continue to hold outdated views on pregnancy and the capacity for a woman to work while awaiting the birth of her child. Being vocal about these views--and especially acting on them--is almost certain to provoke a lawsuit.

It's up to HR to set up checks and balances, reviewing every decision that might be based on assumptions about what pregnant employees can and cannot do.

Recent case: Intrepid Detective Agency hired Terri for a security guard position. She claimed that when she showed up visibly pregnant to begin training, a manager told an HR specialist that Terri had to go home. The manager said he feared Terri might fall on the ice while patrolling, injuring her child and herself, or that she might be harmed by exposure to diesel fuel.

Terri was never allowed to come back. She sued, alleging pregnancy...

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