Housekeeper Fired Because of Her Pregnancy, Federal Agency Says
BALTIMORE – A Rockville, Md., apartment complex violated federal law when it fired a housekeeper soon after she disclosed that she was pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.
The EEOC charges that after a housekeeper, Amada Lucero, informed Greystar Management Services, L.P., that she was pregnant, the company required her to bring in medical documentation confirming that she was pregnant and clearing her to work with cleaning chemicals. Even though Lucero had been performing the job satisfactorily, and was medically cleared to perform her regular job duties without restrictions, Greystar abruptly fired her because of her pregnancy, the EEOC contends in its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court of the District of Maryland, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-02789.
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, prohibits discrimination based on sex, including pregnancy. The EEOC first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement before filing suit. In its lawsuit, the EEOC seeks injunctive relief prohibiting discriminatory employment practices based on sex or pregnancy, as well as lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages and other affirmative relief for Lucero.
“Pregnancy discrimination charges nationwide increased almost 25 percent in the last five years, and such a dramatic increase unfortunately illustrates that too many employers are ignoring their legal obligation not to discriminate against pregnant workers,” said Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., district director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and parts of New Jersey and Ohio.
EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, “This lawsuit should educate all employers that they must treat pregnant employees as they do other employees with short-term medical conditions. If an employer illegally fires a woman because of her pregnancy, the EEOC will take vigorous action to vindicate her right to earn a living and to support herself and her family.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.