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Press Release 02-08-2012

Commission to Hold Feb. 15 Meeting on Pregnancy and Caregiver Issues

Panelists to Present the Latest Research As Well as Best Practices for Employers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public meeting on the subject of pregnancy discrimination and caregiver issues at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) Wednesday, Feb. 15, at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the meeting is open for public observation of the Commission's deliberations.

At the meeting, the Commission will examine recent trends in discrimination against pregnant workers and workers with caregiving responsibilities, examining these two forms of discrimination as a continuum. The Commission is scheduled to hear from the following invited panelists:

Panel 1: Understanding Pregnancy and Caregiver Discrimination in Today's Workplace

  • Dr. Stephen Benard, Professor of Sociology, Indiana University (via VTC from our Indianapolis District Office)
  • Sharon Terman, Senior Staff Attorney, Gender Equity Program, The Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center
  • Maryann Parker, Associate General Counsel, Service Employees International Union
  • Lynn Friss Feinberg, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute
  • Deane Ilukowicz, Vice President for Human Resources, Hypertherm

Panel 2: Statutory Framework and Enforcement Efforts

EEOC's General Counsel P. David Lopez will provide introductory remarks.

  • Peggy Mastroianni, Legal Counsel, EEOC
  • Melvina Ford, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Emily Martin, Vice President and General Counsel, National Women's Law Center

Panel 3: The Way Forward: Implications for the Future

  • Judy Lichtman, National Partnership for Women and Families
  • Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair, Director of the Center for WorkLife Law

Seating is limited and it is suggested that visitors arrive 30 minutes before the meeting in order to be processed through security and escorted to the meeting room. Any matter not discussed or concluded may be carried over to a later meeting.

The Commission agenda is subject to revision. Additional information about the hearing, when available, will be posted at

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at