The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed suit against two companies on the grounds that they allegedly committed pregnancy discrimination. “The EEOC will hold employers accountable when they violate the rights of pregnant female employees. Hopefully, these lawsuits, as well as other discrimination lawsuits filed by the EEOC, will deter other employers from discriminatory conduct,” said Las Vegas Employment Law Attorney Andre Lagomarsino.
Under their employment policy, The Muskegon River Youth Home in Michigan, a private detention center for troubled teens, required all female employees to notify the Youth Home as soon as she learned that she was pregnant. The Youth Home’s employment policy also required their pregnant female employees to produce a doctor certification stating that she was still able to perform her job duties. According to the EEOC lawsuit, the Youth Home’s employment policy was pregnancy discrimination that violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, a part of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (EEOC v. Muskegon River Youth Home., Case No. 1:12-cv-01049). The EEOC’s lawsuit seeks an injunction against Youth Home to prohibit it from maintaining its pregnancy employment policy.
In 2011, J’s Seafood Restaurant in Panama City, FL, four months after they were hired, discharged two female servers after they became pregnant. According to J’s, allowing the females to work as servers would be a liability to the restaurant. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, it is unlawful for an employer to fire a female employee because she becomes pregnant. (EEOC v. S.T.L. I, Inc. d/b/a J’s Seafood Restaurant of Panama City, Case No. 5:12-cv-00317). The EEOC’s lawsuit seeks monetary damages, which includes back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive relief to prohibit the restaurant from firing future female servers who become pregnant, and the reinstatement of the two female employees into the positions the previously held.
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