EEOC Says Your Health Team LLC Fired Employee Because of Pregnancy
DALLAS - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that it has filed suit against Your Health Team, L.L.C. for violating federal law by firing a female home health aide because of her pregnancy. Your Health Team is a home health agency that provides nursing and home health care in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
EEOC charges in its suit, that Zanna Clore was told to obtain a doctor's note after the employer learned of her pregnancy. Shortly thereafter, Clore provided Your Health Team with a release from her physician stating Clore could perform all job duties with the only limitation being that she should not lift or pull more than 25 lbs. Despite the medical release to work, the employer terminated her employment just minutes after she furnished the required note.
"This employer based its decision to abruptly end Ms. Clore's employment because of her pregnancy instead of focusing on whether she could continue to perform the key job duties during the period of her maternity," said Joel Clark, EEOC trial attorney. "EEOC will stand for the rights of women to work without having to fear that losing their income will be a by-product of their pregnancy." The suit was brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which protects applicants and employees from discrimination based on pregnancy in hiring, termination, and terms and conditions of employment. EEOC filed the civil enforcement action, Case No.3:15-cv-02959-L in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through the Commission's conciliation process.
"As a society, we should have already evolved well beyond the old-school thinking that a pregnant worker must be excluded from the workplace," said Robert A. Canino, regional attorney EEOC Dallas District Office. "Fortunately, the highest court in the land, in Young v. UPS, recently emphasized the employer's responsibility to accommodate pregnant employees and thereby avoid discrimination against working women."
Since the start of fiscal year 2011, EEOC has filed over 45 lawsuits involving pregnancy discrimination. During that time, the federal agency has recovered approximately $3,500,000 -- as well as important injunctive and other case-specific "make whole" relief for victims of pregnancy discrimination through its litigation program.
EEOC recently 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. The Enforcement Guidance, Q&A document, and Fact Sheet are available on EEOC's website.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.