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Press Release 01-16-2014

J.C. Penney Corporation to Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

Federal Agency Charged Department Store Denied Employment to Pregnant Job Applicant

ATLANTA - J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc., a major retailer operating throughout the United States, will pay $40,000 to an employee to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. 

The EEOC charged that when a female job applicant applied for a position in the hair salon at the J.C. Penney store in Brunswick, Ga., she was denied a job after she informed the salon manager she was pregnant.  

Such alleged conduct violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits employers from subjecting women to discrimination due to pregnancy.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. 

The consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief, includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training and reporting and posting of anti-discrimination notices.  In the lawsuit and consent decree, J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. denied any liability or wrongdoing.

"The EEOC is pleased that J.C. Penney Corporation agreed to resolve this matter quickly and to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the law," said Bernice Williams Kimbrough, district director for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office. 

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