Employee Was Fired Because of Her Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charged
MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee K-12 school will pay $37,500 and furnish other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's suit, University School of Milwaukee terminated Mallory Barker, an arts and crafts coordinator in the school's after-school program, because of her pregnancy. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree settling the suit (EEOC v. University School of Milwaukee, No. 2:12-cv-979), entered on March 14, 2013 by U.S. District Judge Charles N. Clevert, provides that University School will pay Barker $37,500 and prohibits future discrimination. Also, University School will train its employees, managers and supervisors regarding pregnancy discrimination, an employer's obligations and the rights of employees under Title VII.
"Sometimes, employers overreact and base employment decisions on an employee's pregnancy," said John C. Hendrickson, regional attorney of the EEOC's Chicago District Office, which is responsible for EEOC litigation in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. "In this case, a supervisor appears to have violated University School's own written policies when she told Ms. Barker that she could no longer work there. We appreciate University School's willingness to provide relief for Ms. Barker and to ensure that discrimination does not recur."
University School is a pre-kindergarten (age 3) through grade 12 independent college-preparatory day school located in suburban Milwaukee.
The EEOC's litigation efforts were led by Senior Trial Attorney Dennis R. McBride of its Milwaukee Area Office and Associate Regional Attorney Jean Kamp of its Chicago District Office.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the Commission is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.