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Press Release 03-25-2014

Batesville, Miss., Holiday Inn Franchisee Settles EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Suit for $20,000

Jiji, Inc., Fired Employee Due to Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charged

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Jiji, Inc., a Holiday Inn franchisee located in Batesville, Miss., will pay $20,000 and furnish other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that Jiji violated federal law by discharging Te'Shawn Harmon because of her pregnancy. According to the EEOC's complaint, 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.

Pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action 3:13-cv-00212) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division after first attempting to settle the matter through its conciliation process.

Besides the $20,000 monetary relief, the two-year consent decree settling the lawsuit enjoins Jiji from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex or retaliation. The decree requires training on employee rights under Title VII and requires Jiji to maintain records of discrimination complaints and provide a report to the EEOC. The decree also requires Jiji to post a notice to all employees about the lawsuit that provides the EEOC's contact information.

"Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination is a serious problem that continues to be prevalent in the workplace," said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "Employers cannot penalize female employees based on discriminatory stereotypes. The agency will continue to work to eradicate such 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