A lawsuit that was filed over a year ago has been settled after a company accused of discriminating against a pregnant woman agreed to pay the woman $140,000. The pregnancy discrimination suit filed in California alleged the woman was not hired for a position that she was qualified for because she was pregnant. The company rescinded the offer after finding out about the pregnancy, according to a report.

The most qualified candidate should be hired, but some employers don’t always do so for unlawful reasons, and instead discriminate against potential employees that may need time off that they are entitled to under the law. The company must also have an employee that works to develop procedures for handling these complaints.

Even though discrimination in hiring decisions shouldn’t take place, such discrimination for pregnancy is made even worse by a down economy and high unemployment. Many people can still contribute to the workplace while they are pregnant, and will continue to contribute and provide unique perspectives when they return from leave.

Women sometimes fear applying for jobs or accepting positions because they think they will be discriminated against if they become pregnant. This type of discrimination can be illegal, when the candidate is qualified but not hired because of their medical condition.

It is important for people to understand their rights when they are not hired even though they are more qualified than other candidates. Although the settlement may force the company to provide training and identify policies that will prevent this discrimination in the future, no discrimination should be acceptable in hiring practices.

Source: Fresno Bee, “Olam Americas settles pregnancy discrimination suit for $140,000,” Robert Rodriguez, March 15, 2012