Company Rescinded Job Offer to Applicant One Day After Learning She Had Recently Given Birth, Federal Agency Charges
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Savi Technology, Inc., an Alexandria, Va.-headquartered provider of sensor-based analytics, software and hardware, will pay $20,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a federal pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged that Savi offered Christine Rowe a job as the director of human resources, but the company rescinded the job offer one day after it learned that she had recently given birth and had surgery related to her pregnancy.
Such conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Savi Technology, Inc., Civil Action No.1:14-cv-1005) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the $20,000 in monetary relief to Rowe, the two-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit precludes Savi from taking adverse employment actions on the basis of pregnancy in the future. Savi will distribute its EEO policy, which prohibits sex and pregnancy discrimination, to all employees. The company will provide annual EEO training to all of its U.S. employees and post a notice regarding the settlement. Savi will also report to the EEOC on its compliance with the consent decree, including how it handled complaints of alleged pregnancy discrimination.
"Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination is still a pervasive problem in the workplace," said EEOC Washington Field Office Acting Director Mindy Weinstein. "Employers would be wise to review the Commission's recent enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination to ensure that they do not engage in unlawful actions when making employment decisions."
EEOC Philadelphia District Office Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, "The injunctive relief and training provisions in the consent decree are designed to prevent pregnancy discrimination. No woman should be denied a job because of her pregnancy or because she recently gave birth. We are pleased that Savi Technology worked with us to resolve this lawsuit quickly."
According to company information, Savi specializes in providing sensor-based predictive analytic solutions that enable customers to track and monitor high value assets.
The Commission recently issued Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, along with a question and answer document about the guidance and a fact sheet for small businesses. The Enforcement Guidance, Q&A document, and Fact Sheet are available on the EEOC's website.
The EEOC's Washington Field Office has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia and the State of Virginia Counties of Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Warren; and the State of Virginia Independent Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester. The legal staff of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office prosecutes discrimination cases arising from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., and parts of New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available at its website, www.eeoc.gov.