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Press Release 09-10-2021

Bourne’s House Sued by EEOC for Pregnancy Discrimination

Restaurant Fired and Refused to Rehire a Worker Because She Was Pregnant, Federal Agency Charges

NEW ORLEANS – Bourne’s House, LLC, doing business as Bourne’s House Restaurant, violated federal law when it fired and then later refused to rehire a worker because she was pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed September 8, 2021.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a manager at the company’s Franklinton, Louisiana, restaurant fired the newly-hired worker after sending her a social media message saying, “I'm not gonna be able to hire you. I didn't realize that you were expecting a baby.” When the worker reapplied for work several months later, Bourne’s House wrote “pregnant” on her application and did not rehire her.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits pregnancy-related discrimination. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (Civil Action No. 21-01665) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.   

“Pregnant workers are entitled to the same opportunities as all other workers,” said Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Houston District Office.

Malcolm Medley, the EEOC’s director of the New Orleans Field Office, said, “It is unlawful for an employer to fire an employee simply because she is pregnant. An employer cannot make assumptions about what a pregnant worker can or cannot do.”  

The EEOC’s New Orleans Field Office is part of its Houston District Office, which has jurisdiction over Louisiana and parts of Texas.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.