The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

PRESS RELEASE
8-19-09

EEOC SUES LANE HOTEL MANAGEMENT COMPANY FOR PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced it has filed a lawsuit charging Lane Hotel Management Company, LLC, with pregnancy discrimination. The Alabama company operates Capitol Inn and The Four Seasons Restaurant, with its principal place of business in Montgomery.

The EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 2:09-cv-00767 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama) charges that Lane Hotel Management, doing business as Capitol Inn and the Four Seasons Restaurant, fired an employee because of her pregnancy, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The lawsuit is based on a charge filed by a female employee, a kitchen worker, who was terminated after being approved for a leave of absence associated with her pregnancy.

The EEOC filed this suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process. The agency’s lawsuit seeks monetary compensation in the form of back pay, front pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the victim. The lawsuit also seeks reinstatement for the Capitol Inn employee, plus various injunctive relief to reduce the likelihood of future discriminatory conduct, including policy changes and posting of anti-discrimin­ation notices.

“Women constitute half of the nation’s work force,” said Delner Franklin-Thomas, director for the EEOC’s Birmingham District. “This lawsuit sends the message that an employer must treat all workers with appropriate respect without regard to pregnancy or gender.”

C. Emanuel Smith, regional attorney of the Birmingham District Office, added, “In this case, management level employees are accused of treating an employee differently based on gender. Being pregnant should not mean the end of your job.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


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