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Press Release 09-27-2022

EEOC Sues Dollar General for Pregnancy Discrimination

Retailer Fired Sales Associate Because of Her Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charges

ATLANTA – Nationwide retailer Dolgencorp, LLC, which does business as Dollar General, violated federal law when it fired a sales employee due to her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit announced today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, on or about Sept. 15, 2020, the sales employee was fired immediately after informing Dollar General’s store manager of her pregnancy. When the employee talked to the store manager about returning to her job, the store manager asked her if it was safe for her to work while pregnant. Although the employee assured the manager she could continue working, the manager refused to allow her to return to work. The employee later received a separation notice stating she was terminated for “health reasons.” 

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) which prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 2:22-CV-00198-RWS-JCF) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Gainesville Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.

“The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII to protect pregnant women from unlawful discrimination,” said Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “A woman’s decision to work while she is pregnant rests solely with her. Any employer who prevents a pregnant employee from making that decision violates her federally-protected rights. This case underscores the need for the EEOC’s vigorous commitment to take legal action against those who engage in pregnancy discrimination.”

“Pregnancy is no reason for an employer to assume an employee cannot work, and employers should be prevented from perpetuating this harmful patriarchal stereotype,” said Darrell Graham, district director of the Atlanta office. “The EEOC remains steadfast in its commitment to enforcement of the laws that protect all women from unlawful discrimination.”

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