Federal Agency Charged Bridgeview Facility Illegally Fired Pregnant Social Worker
CHICAGO - Midway Neurological & Rehabilitation Center, a provider of short- and long- term medical and rehabilitation care located in suburban Bridgeview, Ill., will reinstate a former employee and provide other relief under a consent decree entered today ending a pregnancy discrimination case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC had alleged that Midway's former administrator first reduced the hours of one of its social workers after learning she was pregnant, and then fired her while she was out on maternity leave.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Gettleman of the Northern District of Illinois entered the decree in Chicago. It provides for reinstatement of the employee and monetary compensation in the form of a salary adjustment and repayment of nursing school loans. In addition, the consent decree requires Midway to report to the EEOC for the next two years on all employee complaints of pregnancy discrimination. The company must also train all its employees at this location on the prevention and eradication of pregnancy discrimination.
"Pregnancy discrimination remains a problem," said John Hendrickson, the EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago. "In too many workplaces too many times, employers are too quick to determine that the pregnant employee is the expendable employee. But we're pleased with the result here. It includes getting the employee back on the job and positioned to progress in her career. That will enable her to continue to be a productive and valuable employee, securing the employer's investment in her, and at the same time allow her to provide for her family. You've got to say this is really a winning combination for both Midway Neurological and the employee."
The EEOC's lawsuit was brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination (including pregnancy) in employment. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutory conciliation process. The case, EEOC v. Midway Neurological and Rehabilitation Center, LLC, Civil Action No. 13 cv 6542, was filed on Sept. 12, 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. EEOC Trial Attorneys Jeanne Szromba and Laura Feldman and Supervisory Trial Attorney Diane Smason litigated the case on behalf of the government.
EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.