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PRESS RELEASE
3-14-11

Indiana Health Centers, Inc. To Pay $45,000 To Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

Agency Charged That Indiana Health Care Provider Terminated Dental Hygienist Due to Her Pregnancy and Upcoming Maternity Leave

INDIANAPOLIS – A statewide health care provider with a dental clinic in South Bend, Ind., will pay $45,000 to settle a sex/pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC charged in its suit (Case no.: 3:10-CV-412-PPS-CAN in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division) that Indiana Health Center, Inc. violated federal law when it terminated a female dental hygienist because of her sex/pregnancy and because she was scheduled to go on leave within days of her termination.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.

In addition to the monetary settlement, the two-year consent decree settling the suit requires Indiana Health Centers to comply with prohibitions against further discrimination, distribute a policy of non-discrimination, train its supervisors and managers and report to the EEOC, among other things.

“Pregnancy discrimination continues to rise at an alarming rate,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Laurie Young. “This employer is to be applauded for agreeing to take the steps contained in the consent decree that will better ensure its pregnant employees are not discriminated against again and may enjoy the full extent of protection that Title VII was intended to provide.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.