The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A McGehee, Ark., Terminix exterminator service violated federal law by firing an employee because of her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

The EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 5:09-cv-0233 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division) asserts that The Terminix International Company, a part of The ServiceMaster Company, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, when it placed Heather White on a forced leave of absence and then terminated her employment because of her pregnancy.

The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, reinstatement and an injunction against future discrimination.

“This type of blatant sex discrimination is a priority for the EEOC,” said Katharine W. Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi. “Employers cannot refuse to allow women to work based on stereotypes about pregnancy.”

According to company information, The Terminix International Company, based in Memphis, Tenn., provides pest control services worldwide, and is part of The ServiceMaster Company, which includes Merry Maids, TruGreen, ServiceMaster Clean, American Home Shield, Furniture Medic, and AmerSpec. The McGehee Terminix location services approxi­mately 40 cities in southeast Arkansas.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

This page was last modified on August 19, 2009.

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