Company Violated Federal Law by Rescinding Employment Offer to Pregnant Applicant, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA - National Mentor Healthcare, LLC, dba Georgia Mentor, an Albany, Ga., health and human services provider offering services to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, violated federal law by rescinding its job offer to a female applicant shortly after learning that she was pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it recently filed.
According to EEOC's lawsuit, in March 2013, Lisa Sullivan applied for a position with the company as a program services coordinator. On the same day that she accepted the position in July 2013, Sullivan told the company's program director that she was pregnant. The following day, the company re-posted the position and eventually hired a male applicant. Sullivan was then told that she should pursue other options.
Pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-00159) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The federal agency seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for Sullivan, as well as injunctive relief designed to prevent such discrimination in the future.
"A health care provider, of all places, should understand that denying a job to an applicant just because she's pregnant is unlawful," said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Dawkins.
Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan.
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on the agency's website at www.eeoc.gov.