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U.S. Sues Port Chester School District

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The United States filed a civil rights lawsuit today against the Port Chester School District for gender and pregnancy discrimination against former employee Patricia Bevilacqua.

Bevilacqua had been serving as the chairperson for the Committee on Special Education when she took maternity leave in 2005. Upon returning to the district in 2006 she found that her position had been given to a male employee who had been serving as the interim chairperson in her absence.

Bevilacqua was later demoted to the position of school psychologist while pregnant with her second child and informed by a supervisor that it would allow her to spend more time with her children. "Discrimination in the workforce against women who choose to have children cannot be tolerated," said U.S. attorney Preet Bharara. "All employees, men and women, should be evaluated on the basis of their performance, not their decision to have children."

The district is charged with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the suit aims to force the district to take measures to prevent future discriminatory practices and compensate Bevalacqua. Follow this story for updates.

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