CUNY Settles Discrimination Claim
The City University of New York has settled a discrimination complaint made by a pregnant student.
The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) filed the complaint on behalf of Stephanie Stewart. According to the center, Stewart was told that she would not be able to make up tests or assignments missed as a result of her pregnancy; CUNY administrators suggested that Stewart should instead drop the class, since her due date was before the end of the semester.
The complaint accused CUNY of violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education. Title IX forbids schools and colleges from penalizing pregnant students for medically necessary absences.
"The university settlement with the student provided that she receive about $3,000 to cover expenses," said Michael Arena, CUNY's director for communications and marketing, in an e-mail. "The university will also renew efforts to work with its colleges to communicate the longstanding non-discrimination policy to the faculty and staff. The colleges will also provide more training in this area to ensure that the policy is properly applied and that the rights of expectant mothers continue to be respected and safeguarded."
Arena added that pregnancy was specifically mentioned in CUNY's anti-discrimination policy.
Stewart's scholarship will also be restored.