Articles Posted in Pregnancy Discrimination

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Merry Maids Pays $40,000 To Settle A Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

V&B LLC, a Merry Maids home cleaning franchise pays $40,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). Published documents in the case allege that V&B fired Belinda Sternemann because she suffered from pregnancy-related health issues. Sternemann, a military veteran who worked for V&B for over two years, was a Team Captain on one of V&B’s crews and had an unblemished work record. Her pregnancy issues were alleged to be minor and did not prevent her from working.

An employer may not take a negative job action on an employee because of her pregnancy. In this case, the pregnancy issue was minor and there was no reason for the act of discrimination.

“Sometimes employers overreact and base employment decisions on an employee’s pregnancy.” said EEOC Chicago Regional Attorney John C. Hendrickson

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Weight Watchers Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit For $45,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

The WW Group., Inc., doing business as Weight Watchers, pays $45,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“), on behalf of a pregnant job applicant. According to published accounts, the Weight Watchers’ Farmington Hills location violated federal law when it refused to hire an applicant as a group leader because she was pregnant. To make matters worse, the applicant was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers who had successfully met and maintained her weight goals before becoming pregnant. Wow that is some really messed up stuff. What planet were these management people on?

When Weight Watchers learned of the applicant’s pregnancy, it told her that it did not hire pregnant women and refused to consider her any further. This is a clear violation of the law and as you can see it cost the company some money. Not only did they have to pay, but also the company was subjected to some very negative publicity.

“Under the PDA, pregnant applicants have the right to fair and equal consideration for employment.” said EEOC attorney Omar Weaver

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EEOC Settles Lawsuit With Founders Pavilion Inc. For $370,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Founders Pavilion, Inc. pays $370,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). This lawsuit involved a little litigated law called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA“). That law makes it illegal for employers to request genetic information or making employment decisions based on genetic information. In this case Founders Pavilion requested family medical history as part of its post-offer, pre-employment medical exams of applicants.

According to published accounts Founders Pavilion fired two employees because they were perceived to be disabled, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA“). The company also refused to hire or fired three women because they were pregnant, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So not only did the company violate GINA, and ADA, but also it engaged in pregnancy discrimination. The company ended up paying a heavy price for this discriminatory type of behavior.

“This is our third lawsuit since the enactment of the GINA law and the first one that is systemic,” said David Lopez, EEOC General Counsel.

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Pregnancy Discrimination Case Settles For $12,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

CSI Corporation pays $12,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. The multi-count lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to published accounts, the corporate policy required the suspension of pregnant employees without pay pending the receipt of a medical release. You cannot make this kind of blanket discriminatory policy against pregnant employees.

In this case the company discriminated against security officer Naima Ashigur, by repeatedly suspending her and forcing her to obtain fitness for duty medical releases pursuant to its policy. The problem was she had provided medical clearances from her doctor. The company also forced her to undergo medical examinations that were not job related and consistent with business necessity. To make matters even crazier a supervisor required Ashigur to hide in a restroom so that contracting officials would not see that she was pregnant. This sounds like a real wacky place to work.

“Pregnant employees who are able to do the job must be permitted to continue working and cannot be treated less favorably than non-pregnant employees.” said EEOC attorney Spencer H. Lewis, Jr.

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Landau Uniforms Settles Pregnancy Lawsuit With EEOC

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Landau Uniforms, Inc., pays $80,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. The multi-count lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to published accounts, Landau Uniforms violated federal law by subjecting Tara Smith, who worked for Landau Uniforms to unequal terms and conditions of employment because of her pregnancy. Under the law you may not treat an employee differently because they are pregnant. Many times an employee will tell the boss they are pregnant and then their job duties will change.

Once Smith came forward about her pregnancy, her terms and conditions of employment changed. Smith then complained about the changes and Landau Uniforms disciplined and discharged Smith because of her pregnancy and in retaliation for opposing the unequal terms and conditions of employment. You can see how much money this can cost a company. It just doesn’t make sense to treat a pregnant employee differently.

“Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination continues to be a real problem in the workplace,” “Employers cannot penalize female employees based on discriminatory stereotypes about pregnancy.” said EEOC attorney Faye Williams

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What Is Pregnancy Discrimination In Chicago?

by Peter M. LaSorsa

My Chicago offices gets many calls from women who are pregnant and want to know what constitutes pregnancy discrimination in Chicago. Under the law you can’t treat a female worker different because she is pregnant. And you have to make reasonable accommodations for her. That all sounds great but in reality how are you going to prove that the boss is treating you different because you are pregnant. Well for starter keep copies of performance reviews and any emails that praise your work. Also, check your handbook at work and see if written poor performance notices are required.

If you believe you are the victim of pregnancy discrimination, you should call a discrimination lawyer at once. Then after consulting with him, you should have him file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“). The IDHR will investigate the complaint and force the company to respond to a questionnaire. The most important thing is for you to document what is taking place and to not give the company a reason to fire or discipline you. You have workplace rights in Illinois and if the company doesn’t respect those rights, contact a lawyer.

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Bar Pays $20,000 To Settle Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Reed Pierce’s Sportsman’s Grille pays $20,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to the published complaint a female server was removed from the weekly schedule and fired because of her pregnancy. You cannot treat an employee different just because she is pregnant.

According to court documents Reed Pierce’s terminated Melody McKinley without warning and without prior disciplinary action, telling her when it took her off the weekly schedule, “The baby is taking its toll on you.” Talk about making a statement that is going to come back to haunt you. McKinley, who was four months pregnant had not cut back on her shifts and was under no medical or working restrictions when she was fired. Firing a worker at a time when they probably need money the most is just wrong. I am glad she hung in there and the EEOC was able to get her some relief.

“This case is just one example of the widespread problem of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, no matter the size of the employer.” said EEOC attorney C. Emanuel Smith

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EEOC Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit For $15,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

West Sand, LLC, D/B/A/ Sandbar Mexican Grill (“Sandbar”) will settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit for $15,000. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“), after the company removed a pregnant employee from working on Sundays during football season because she was pregnant. I must say that is an odd reason and one I didn’t hear before. Under the law you may not take a negative job action against someone because they are pregnant. After details of this come out I will bet not many females will want to frequent this place of business.

According to published accounts Sandbar instituted a policy of removing pregnant women from its Sunday schedule in an attempt to allegedly satisfy its male Sunday football customers. It looks like management at the Sandbar started the policy because it believed its male customers did not wish to see pregnant women while they watched Sunday football games. Talk about a caveman mentality. I guess they should have made them barefoot and working in the kitchen if they were going to be pregnant. For the female employees who were pregnant working on Sundays during football season this was the most or one of the most lucrative shifts during the week. As you can imagine this resulted in a dramatic loss of income for the pregnant females.

“Pregnancy discrimination remains a persistent problem in the 21st-century workplace.” said EEOC Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill

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Chemcore Industries Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Chemcore Industries, Inc. pays $30,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) after attempts to settle the case prior to filing failed. Many times it takes an actual filing of a lawsuit to settle a case. As part of the settlement the company also agreed to train employees on discriminationl laws and the company will file various reports with the EEOC.

According to published accounts Chemcore fired customer service representative Marie Simmons within several hours after she disclosed her pregnancy to her supervisor. Talk about making it seem very obvious. An employee is protected from discrimination at work and cannot have a negative job action taken because she is pregnant. This company learned that lesson the hard way. You should not have to worry about losing your job when you get pregnant.

“Ms. Simmons, like other working females, had a right to start a family without fear of losing her job and the EEOC is committed to protecting the rights of pregnant employees under federal law.” said EEOC attorney Robert Dawkins

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Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Settles For $94,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Belmont Village, L.P. and Belmont Village at Buckhead Senior Living, LLC, pays $94,000 to two former employees to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of the two females. According to published accounts, assistant chef Joann Johnson and personal care aide Marcia Thomas, informed their supervisors that they were pregnan and they were immediately written up for alleged job performance issues.

And then both women were fired. Talk about not even trying to hide the fact that they were enganging in discriminatory conduct. The company was so blatant about it that it boggles the mind. In this case the company was wise to settle for the amount they did as the facts were overwhelming. You can see how much it can cost a company when they engage in discrimination against employees.

“The EEOC filed this suit based on evidence that pregnancy factored into the decisions to dis­charge the victims in this case,” said EEOC attorney Robert Dawkins