Federal Agency Alleged Pet Food Company Fired Lab Technician Due to Pregnancy
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Triple T Foods, an Arkansas pet food processor, will pay $30,000 to a former employee and furnish other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC's suit, Civil Action No. 13-5198, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division, charged Triple T with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 when it terminated a lab technician the same day she informed the company of her pregnancy.
Pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the PDA. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree settling the suit, approved by U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks, requires Triple T to provide training to its personnel on pregnancy discrimination; submit reports to EEOC during the period the consent decree is in effect; and post a notice reinforcing the company's policies on Title VII and its procedures for reporting and preventing pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
On July 14, 2014, the EEOC issued its "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. This was the first comprehensive update since 1983.
"We continue to see more complaints of pregnancy discrimination throughout our district," said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney of the EEOC's Memphis District Office which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi. "We are pleased Triple T has hired a human resources specialist to prevent pregnancy discrimination from occurring there in the future."
According to its website, the company is a Kansas corporation doing business in Arkansas, with a headquarters in Frontenac, Kan. It was founded in 1976 and is a processing facility for leading brands of dog and cat food.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.