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Press Release 08-22-2013

Mississippi Holiday Inn Franchisee Sued by EEOC for Pregnancy Discrimination

Company Fired Employee Due to Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charges

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Jiji, Inc., a Holiday Inn franchisee located in Batesville, Miss., violated federal law when it fired an employee because of her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC's suit, Te'Shawn Harmon informed her manager of her pregnancy on her first day of work.  That evening, the manager terminated Harmon and 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, Civil Action No. 3:13-cv-00212, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.  The suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, reinstatement and injunctive relief. 

"Employers cannot penalize women for choosing to have a family," said Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi.  "This agency will continue to work to eliminate this type of discriminatory conduct."

Jiji, Inc. is a Mississippi corporation based in Batesville that owns, manages, and operates hotel facilities in Mississippi.

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