DETROIT – A New Jersey-based trucking company violated federal law by firing a female truck driver just hours after learning of her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit (Case No. 2:09CV13116), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the discrimination victim, a 30-year-old woman from Detroit who worked for Decker Transport Co., Inc., informed the employer of her pregnancy after a trip to a hospital emergency room. The company immediately put her on temporary leave and told her not to return to work until after she “got rid of the problem.” When the female worker refused, the company terminated her employment.
Pregnancy discrimination is a form of gender discrimination which violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC is seeking an injunction to prohibit the company from engaging in this type of discrimination in the future, as well as monetary relief on behalf of the victim.
“This is a straightforward case of pregnancy discrimination based on unfounded assumptions about the abilities of pregnant women,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Lauren Gibbs. “When discrimination like this goes unchecked, especially in male-dominated professions such as trucking, it only allows false stereotypes about women and pregnancy to perpetuate.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.