Real Estate Investment Firm Fired Employee Because of Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charged
CAMDEN, N.J. -- Friedman Realty Group, Inc., a Gibbsboro, N.J.-based real estate investment firm that owns and manages apartment communities, retail shopping centers and professional office buildings, will pay $60,000 and furnish significant relief to resolve a federal pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
The EEOC charged that Friedman subjected a leasing agent at its Prospect Park, Pa., location to more scrutiny and discipline after she told management personnel that she was pregnant and then fired her because of her pregnancy.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination because of pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to pregnancy. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Friedman Realty Group, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-07659) in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the $60,000 in monetary relief to the leasing agent, the two-and-a-half-year consent decree resolving the suit enjoins Friedman from engaging in pregnancy discrimination or retaliation in the future. Friedman will provide pregnancy discrimination training to all management, non-management, and human resources employees and will disseminate its policy prohibiting pregnancy discrimination to all employees. Friedman will report to the EEOC on how it addresses any internal complaints of pregnancy discrimination. The company also posted an employee notice regarding the federal anti-discrimination laws.
"Pregnancy discrimination hurts everyone - especially the worker who is deprived of a paycheck when she needs it most," said EEOC Philadelphia District Office Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. "We are pleased that Friedman agreed to a settlement that not only provides monetary compensation to the worker but also contains important relief to protect all employees from pregnancy discrimination."
EEOC District Director Jamie R. Williamson added, "Pregnant employees deserve the same opportunity to earn a living as all workers. This settlement should remind all employers that the EEOC will take vigorous action when needed to remedy pregnancy discrimination."
The EEOC's Philadelphia District Office is one of four offices in the Philadelphia District, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.