EEOC Charged Pain Management Practice Terminated Chiropractor Due to Pregnancy
PHILADELPHIA – Delaware County Pain Management will pay $95,000 and provide equitable relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
The EEOC charged in its lawsuit (Civil Action 07-cv-4086, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania) that the pain treatment center terminated Dr. Kristina M. Shuffler because of her pregnancy. Shuffler began working for the practice as an Associate Chiropractor in December 2005. EEOC charged that after she advised her supervisor about her pregnancy, her supervisor made derogatory comments about Shuffler’s pregnancy.
In September 2006, Shuffler had to go on medical leave due to pregnancy-related health problems. In November 2006, the supervisor left a voice mail message for Shuffler telling her that she was no longer needed at the office. The EEOC charged that Delaware County Pain Management terminated Shuffler because of her pregnancy. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
In addition to the monetary relief, the three-year consent decree contains substantial equitable relief, including prohibitions against unlawful discrimination and retaliation, annual training of all employees, a requirement that supervisors and managers will be accountable for ensuring compliance with Delaware County Pain Management’s policies against discrimination and the posting of a notice regarding this settlement.
“The Commission commends Delaware County Pain Management for its cooperation in resolving this case and for taking steps to ensure other women in the workplace will not be forced to choose between parenthood and a livelihood,” said Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence. “The Commission recently issued guidance regarding unlawful disparate treatment of workers with caregiving responsibilities.”
During Fiscal Year 2008, charge filings with the EEOC nationwide increased to an unprecedented level of 95,402 during Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, a 15 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. Pregnancy charges increased 12% to a record high level of 6,285 in FY 2008.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.