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PRESS RELEASE
2-28-13

Adventures in Learning to Pay $31,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Federal  Agency Says Day Care Center Refused to Allow Pregnant Teacher to Work

CHICAGO - Adventures in  Learning Aurora, Inc., an Aurora, Ill.-based childcare center with  approximately 100 employees across four locations in Illinois, will pay $31,000  to settle a pregnancy discrimination case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 

The EEOC had alleged that Adventures  in Learning discriminated against a pregnant employee at one of its locations  and forced her to quit when it refused to allow her to work after her fourth  month of pregnancy.  Adventures in  Learning opted to settle the case shortly after it was filed. 

U.S. District Court Judge George  M. Marovich of the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent decree  resolving the lawsuit on Feb. 22.  The  decree provides $31,000 in monetary relief to the victim and requires Adventures  in Learning to report to the EEOC for the next two years on all employee  complaints of pregnancy discrimination.  The  company must also train all its employees on the prevention and eradication of pregnancy  discrimination, and also adopt a new policy prohibiting pregnancy  discrimination. 

"Pregnancy discrimination has  been illegal for a long time, so we are never happy to see it," said the EEOC  district director in Chicago, John Rowe, who managed the EEOC's administrative  investigation of the charge of discrimination underlying the lawsuit.  "On the other hand, it's encouraging to see  an employer charged with such discrimination put an end to it and work with the  EEOC to achieve a just result which works for all."

John Hendrickson, the EEOC's  regional attorney in Chicago, said, "Really early resolution of this case --  before any depositions were taken -- created a win-win situation for  everyone.  This employer avoided  investing in litigation expenses which would not have yielded a different  result and was able refocus on its business in a hurry.  The EEOC secured the necessary law  enforcement objectives with minimal expense to the taxpayers - there's nothing  not to like about that these days.  The  charging party received early and certain relief in an appropriate amount.  And, finally, the long-term public interest  was served by the decree's mandating targeted equitable relief, including a  specific injunction against the company and its officers engaging in pregnancy  discrimination, along with well-defined training, reporting and policy changes  in the workplace."

The EEOC's lawsuit was  brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the  Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which prohibits sex discrimination (including  pregnancy) in employment.  The EEOC  filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its  statutory conciliation process.  The  case, EEOC v. Adventures in Learning of  Aurora, Inc., Civil Action No. 12 cv -7489, was filed on Sept. 18, 2012 in  U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern  Division.   EEOC Trial Attorneys June  Calhoun and Jeanne Szromba and Supervisory Trial Attorney Diane Smason litigated  the case on behalf of the government.

EEOC's Chicago  District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination,  administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois,  Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in  Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

EEOC is responsible for  enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination.  Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.