Federal Agency Charges Two Women Discharged Over Pregnancies
PHOENIX – Beehive of Vernal, Inc., which operates nursing homes in Vernal, Utah, has agreed to pay $22,000 and furnish other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Beehive’s owner offered an assistant manager’s job to a replacement upon learning of the assistant manager’s pregnancy, repeatedly asked her when she planned to stop working, and subjected her to closer scrutiny, ultimately compelling her to quit. The EEOC also charged that Beehive’s owner repeatedly asked another assistant manager when she planned to stop working upon learning of her pregnancy, demoted her, and ultimately stopped scheduling her for work, effectively terminating her.
Pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. Beehive of Vernal, Inc., 11CV00919SA, in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah in Salt Lake City on Sept. 29, 2011, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the monetary settlement, Beehive has agreed, among other things, to provide its employees, supervisors, managers and human resources employees with annual training for three years on pregnancy discrimination, and to make periodic reports to the EEOC.
“Beehive is to be commended for addressing this case in a direct fashion and for working with our Denver Field Office to institute measures to modify its practices and prevent discrimination based on pregnancy,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the Phoenix District, which includes Utah. “The EEOC also appreciates Beehive’s commitment to better train and educate its management team and work force. We believe this agreement will help promote a discrimination-free workplace going forward.”
EEOC Phoenix District Director Rayford Irvin added, “Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. The EEOC is steadfast in its commitment to assist victims of all forms of employment discrimination.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The Phoenix District Office covers Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and part of New Mexico. Further information is available on the EEOC’s website at www.eeoc.gov.