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Press Release 09-29-2022

EEOC Sues Heartfelt Home Healthcare Services for Pregnancy and Disability Discrimination

Health Care Company Fired Scheduling Coordinator Because of Her Pregnancy and Related Disability, Federal Agency Charges

ERIE, Pa. – A home health care services company in northwest Pennsylvania violated federal law by firing an employee because she was pregnant and because of her disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

The EEOC filed the pregnancy and disability discrimination case against Erie-based Heartfelt Home Healthcare Services, Inc. According to the lawsuit, a pregnant scheduling coordinator with hypertension was unlawfully discharged because of those conditions. The company’s president and vice president repeatedly told the pregnant worker that she was a “liability to the company” due to her condition. They ultimately fired her based on her pregnancy and hypertension after she was treated at a hospital for early contractions, despite the fact that she remained qualified to perform her job and was not medically restricted from performing her duties.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits sex discrimin­ation in employment, including on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and pregnancy-related medical conditions. The conduct also violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, including pregnancy-related disabilities. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (U.S. EEOC v. Heartfelt Home Healthcare Services, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-00280-CB), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

“Employers who allow their workplace decisions to be tainted by harmful stereotypes and false assump­tions about pregnant workers and workers with disabilities violate federal law and hinder our nation’s goal of achieving equal employment opportunities,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence. “The EEOC is committed to protecting women from job discrimination because of pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions and eradicating workplace disability discrimination in all its forms.”

EEOC Philadelphia District Director Jamie Williamson added, “Pregnancy discrimination remains a substantial barrier for female workers more than 43 years after the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 became law. Employers must respect the legal rights of pregnant workers to earn a living free from on-the-job bias, and EEOC will continue taking all necessary action to ensure that employers do so.”

For more information on disability discrimination, please visit For more information on pregnancy discrimination, please visit

The lawsuit was initiated by the EEOC’s Pittsburgh Area Office, one of four component offices of the agency’s Philadelphia District Office. The Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and portions of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and portions of Virginia.

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.