Assisted Living Facility Fired Employee Due to Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charges
OXFORD, Miss. - Magnolia NA, LLC, dba Magnolia Personal Care Home, an assisted living facility located in New Albany, Miss., violated federal law when it hired an employee and then discharged her a few hours later because of her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Magnolia hired an employee to work as a kitchen assistant. On her first day of work, she informed her supervisor of her pregnancy. Three hours later, the administrator terminated the employee and later replaced her with a non-pregnant employee, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Magnolia NA, LLC d/b/a Magnolia Personal Care Home, Civil Action No. 3:14-cv-00210) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks injunctive relief to prohibit Magnolia from failing to hire and discharging employees because of pregnancy in the future. In addition, the EEOC seeks equitable relief in the form of reinstatement and back pay as well as and compensatory and punitive damages.
"The law is clear -- employers cannot refuse to hire or discharge women because of their pregnancy," said Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "It is unfortunate that this kind of unlawful behavior is even an issue in 2014. Combating pregnancy discrimination remains a priority for this office and we will continue to work to eliminate it until it is no longer an issue."
Magnolia NA, LLC is a Mississippi company with its principal office in Lyon, Miss.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.