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Pregnancy Discrimination Case Claiming Worker Fired Shortly After Disclosing Pregnancy Settled By EEOC

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Having represented pregnancy discrimination victims for more than two decades, our Ocala, Florida pregnancy discrimination attorneys know that pregnant employees are often targeted for termination shortly after they disclose their pregnancy. In UAW v. Johnson Controls, 490 U.S. 187 (1991), the U.S. Supreme Court explained that the “decision to work while [ ] being pregnant . . . is reserved for each individual women to make for herself” and “pregnant women who are able to work must be permitted to work under the same conditions as other employees.” In this article, our Marion County, Florida pregnancy discrimination lawyers explain how a recent pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) illustrates how the federal employment discrimination laws protect pregnant employees who are targeted for termination after an employer learns of their pregnancy.

Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

On March 24, 2021, the EEOC issued a press release announcing that it has resolved a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against Red One Pizza, LLC, operating as Lucy’s Cantina Royale (Cantina Royale). On September 21, 2020, the EEOC filed the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Red One Pizza, LLC, d/b/a Lucy’s Cantina Royale, Case No. 4:20-cv-07766, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In the Consent Decree, which was executed by U.S. District Court Judge Lorna G. Schofield on March 23, 2021, Cantina Royale agreed to pay $45,000 to resolve the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.

Legal Rights Of Pregnant Employees

The EEOC brought the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), on behalf of a former employee of Cantina Royale, Miccol DeGracia (DeGracia). The PDA protects women from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The PDA protects women from pregnancy discrimination in all aspects of employment, including compensation, promotion, work assignments, discipline, layoff, and discharge. The EEOC claims that Cantina Royale violated the PDA by firing DeGracia because of her pregnancy.

Worker Claims Fired Because Of Pregnancy

In April 2018, Cantina Royale hired DeGracia to work as a server at its restaurant in New York City. In May 2018, Cantina Royale learned that DeGracia was pregnant after she experienced a pregnancy-related medical emergency at work that required her to go to the hospital. On June 29, 2018, DeGracia was working outdoors in the heat and had to sit down due to feeling like she would faint. The General Manager initially refused to allow her to leave work. Ultimately, the General Manager told DeGracia that she had to leave work because she was pregnant.

On July 1, 2018, DeGracia emailed the General Manager to ask for time off from work for an “urgent” doctor’s appointment because she was “feeling worse.” When DeGracia returned to work on July 4, 2018, she was informed that her employment was terminated. Cantina Royale, according to the EEOC, refused to tell DeGracia the reason for her termination other than she was no longer “a good fit.”

Helping Pregnancy Discrimination Victims

The EEOC, which is an administrative agency of the federal government, is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the federal labor laws making discrimination, harassment, and retaliation unlawful employment practices. In seeking to fulfill its statutory mission of eradicating employment discrimination, the EEOC brings lawsuits in federal court on behalf of employees subjected to unlawful discriminatory employment practices, including unlawful pregnancy discrimination. In a press release issued by the EEOC on March 24, 2021, regarding the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office, Jeffrey Burstein, explained that “federal law protects the job security of pregnant employees.” “Employers must allow a pregnant employee to continue working,” Mr. Burstein added, “as long as she is willing and able to work.”

Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys In Ocala, FL

Based in Ocala, Florida, and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida pregnancy discrimination lawyers have fought for the rights of pregnancy discrimination victims for more than twenty years. If you have been discriminated against because of pregnancy or have questions about your rights under the federal employment discrimination laws as a pregnant employee, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida pregnancy discrimination attorneys. Our employment and labor law attorneys take pregnancy discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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