DETROIT -- Ramin Inc., the owner of a Comfort Inn & Suites in Taylor, Mich., will pay $27,500 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit (EEOC v. Ramin, Inc., 2012-cv-15015) filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Ramin fired a housekeeper after she reported her pregnancy to them. Management stated it could not allow the employee to continue to work as a housekeeper because of the potential harm to the development of her baby, the EEOC said.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), protects female employees against discrimination based on pregnancy. Under the statute, an employer may not exclude pregnant women from employment based on the employer's supposed concerns about the safety of the mother or unborn fetus. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In a consent decree filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the company agreed to pay $2,500 in back pay and $25,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. In addition, Ramin agreed to a permanent injunction enjoining it from discriminating against an employee due to her pregnancy or requiring a pregnant employee to provide medical documents that releases her to work. The decree requires that Ramin provide training to all of its managerial and non-managerial employees on sex and pregnancy discrimination; draft a new employee policy regarding sex and pregnancy discrimination; post a notice regarding the suit for all employees; and report to the EEOC for four years. The injunction, training, policy revisions, and EEOC monitoring constitute targeted, equitable relief that aims to prevent similar violations in the future.
As detailed in its Strategic Enforcement Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016, the EEOC has made obtaining targeted, equitable relief one of its top priorities.
"This is a favorable resolution for everyone," explained EEOC Trial Attorney Lauren Gibbs Burstein. "We appreciate that Ramin worked with us to resolve this case before we had to engage in lengthy discovery and litigation proceedings."
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.