When the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a gender-discrimination suit against Bloomberg LP last fall, it was acting after complaints from three executives who said they’d been treated unfairly after becoming pregnant. Now 72 women are making that charge, about one in seven of the roughly 500 female employees who became pregnant in the last six years, EEOC lawyers revealed last week. “It’s a pretty big number,” says Raechel Adams, an EEOC lawyer, who said the commission also plans to depose the mayor in the case. When the initial three women filed a motion in the fall to join the EEOC suit as plaintiffs, a Bloomberg LP spokeswoman called the move “a publicity stunt.” Since then, the company has reorganized its human-resources department, hiring a former American Express exec, Melinda Wolfe, who had advised the mayor on women’s issues. The EEOC made “an aggressive effort to enlist claimants,” the Bloomberg LP rep now says. “We’ll be taking their depositions over the next several months.”
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