Dietary Company Fired Pregnant Employees, Federal Agency Charges
SAN DIEGO - Tarr, Inc. and Zenith, LLC, a San Diego-based company that sells dietary supplements, will pay $50,000 and provide other significant relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, a female employee who worked at Tarr, Inc. in San Diego informed the company of her pregnancy and was terminated a few days later. The EEOC also contends that the company refused to return another pregnant employee to return to work after taking maternity leave.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (EEOC v. Tarr, Inc. and Zenith, LLC, Case No.: 3:17-cv-01660-W-WVG) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. (Tarr, Inc. later merged into Zenith, LLC.)
As part of the consent decree settling the suit, Tarr and Zenith will pay $50,000 to the discrimination victims. Because Tarr and Zenith allege they no longer operate, the consent decree is enforceable against the companies' owners, officers and/or directors, and that any future business endeavors by these individuals will be subject to the decree if created during the duration of the decree. The injunctive relief, includes, but is not limited to, training all its employees on anti-discrimination laws; revising its anti-discrimination and retaliation policies and procedures; centrally tracking requests for pregnancy-related accommodations as well as complaints of discrimination and/or retaliation; hiring a third-party equal employment opportunity monitor; regularly reporting to the EEOC; and posting a notice about the consent decree and settlement.
"Too often employers wrongly perceive pregnancy and motherhood as incompatible with work, which places women at a great disadvantage," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, which includes San Diego County in its jurisdiction. "Employers should be cognizant of their obligations under Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to maintain a workplace free of discrimination."
Christopher Green, director of the EEOC's San Diego Local Office, added, "There is still a strong bias against mothers in the workplace, and we encourage women who feel discriminated against due to pregnancy to come forward and let the EEOC help defend your rights."
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.