Sales Associate Was Fired After Reporting Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA – DDK, Inc., doing business as D&K Suit City, a retail clothing store in Morrow, Ga., unlawfully fired a female sales associate after she reported to her employer that she was pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it recently filed.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, when Linda Bell informed a manager of her pregnancy, he promptly reduced her hours. Immediately thereafter, her supervisor hired two new sales associates and gave them progressively more hours even as he reduced Bell’s hours further. Eventually, Bell was removed from the work schedule entirely and terminated.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex or pregnancy. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No., 110-cv-03056) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for Bell as well as injunctive relief designed to stop pregnancy discrimination and prevent it from recurring in the future.
“An employee should never be terminated simply because she is pregnant,” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “Our discrimination laws were specifically enacted to prohibit employers from punishing workers for starting a family, which was what was done to Ms. Bell.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.