The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has settled 52,000 pregnancy-discrimination cases with damage payouts of $150.5 million since 2001, leading EEOC board members at a recent hearing to question why such bias is still widespread. Part of the problem may be confusion over federal laws that can be "a little confusing and in some cases contradictory," said Deane Ilukowicz, an HR executive with Hypertherm.

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