According to a lawsuit filed in late September by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Reed Pierece’s, a sports bar and grill in Byram Mississipi has been a really bad boss, allegedly firing a waitress based soley on the fact that she was pregnant.
Melody McKinley contends that she was fired after asking to change her shift to go to a doctor’s appointment and experiencing pregnancy-related complications. The suit alleges that Reed Pierce’s told McKinley that although she was a good employee, “the baby was taking its toll on her.” She was then let go from her waitressing job. McKinley asked to keep working as a call-in employee or hostess, but the bar refused. The EEOC clearly outlines its policy on pregnancy discrimination:
Pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Mississippi (Civil Action No. 3:10-cv-00541-WHB -LRA) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The suit seeks monetary relief for the victim, a court order requiring the company to implement new policies and practices designed to prevent pregnancy discrimination, provide employee training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the work site and other injunctive relief.
“The law protects employees’ rights to continue working during their pregnancy,” said Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director for the EEOC’s Birmingham District Office.
C. Emanuel Smith, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Birmingham District Office, said, “It is important for employers to recognize that women have the right to remain gainfully employed throughout their pregnancy. This lawsuit is a step in that direction.”
In Fiscal Year 2009, the EEOC received 6,196 charges alleging pregnancy discrimination.
For more information on the EEOC and its policies, click here.