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PRESS RELEASE
3-26-10

Baptist Church School to Pay $53,000 to Settle Two EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Suits

Greenforest-McCalep Violated Federal Law by Firing and Refusing to Hire Expectant Mothers, Federal Agency Charged

ATLANTA – Greenforest-McCalep Christian Academic Center, a subsidiary of Greenforest Community Baptist Church, will pay $53,000 and furnish other relief to settle two pregnancy discrimination lawsuits brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The agency had charged that the Decatur, Ga., Christian school violated federal law when it fired one employee and rescinded a job offer to an applicant after it became aware they were pregnant.

The EEOC filed the first suit against Greenforest-McCalep in May 2009 (Case 1:09-CV-1227) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of Victoria Y. Brown. Brown had already received an employment offer from Greenforest-McCalep when she went for a meeting with the headmaster to discuss some final pre-employment matters before she was to begin teaching in the 2007-08 academic year. During this meeting, Brown informed the headmaster that she was pregnant. In response, the EEOC said, the headmaster told her that she would not be able to teach there because of her pregnancy.

The EEOC first filed its second suit in September 2009 (Case 1:09-CV-2694) on behalf of Shuntal V. Prince, who had been employed as a teacher at Greenforest-McCalep since June 2006. In January 2008, Prince was called into a meeting with the school’s director to discuss some concerns she had about Prince’s health. During this meeting, the director advised Prince that she heard rumors that she was pregnant. Prince confirmed that she was pregnant and that she planned to have her child. The director then informed Prince that “today is your last day” at Greenforest-McCalep, the EEOC said.

The consent decrees settling the suits, in addition to the monetary relief of $53,000 ($30,000 for Brown and $23,000 for Prince), include provisions for developing new pregnancy discrimination policy and procedures, equal employment opportunity training, reporting and posting of anti-discrimination notices. In the suits and consent decrees, Greenforest-McCalep denied any wrongdoing.

“Pregnant women have an equal right to participate in the work force,” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “Federal law guarantees that no expectant mother should be deprived of her livelihood simply because of her pregnancy.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.