Company Placed Pregnant Employee on Involuntary Leave, Federal Agency Charges
FRESNO, Calif. - Exeter, Calif.-based Peninsula Packaging will pay $45,000 and provide other relief to settle a charge of pregnancy discrimination filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
The charge made to the EEOC alleged that a packer required a modification to her job due to her pregnancy, which Peninsula Packaging refused to do. Instead, the company placed the employee on an involuntary leave of absence. The EEOC investigated the allegations and found reasonable cause to believe that Peninsula Packaging discriminated against the employee due to her pregnancy, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Without admitting liability, Peninsula Packaging agreed to enter into a three-year conciliation agreement with the EEOC and the alleged victim, thereby avoiding litigation. In addition to the monetary relief, the company agreed to hire an outside equal employment opportunity consultant to develop and conduct effective training for all employees on discrimination with an emphasis on pregnancy discrimination, develop reporting procedures, and assist the company with revising and modifying its current discrimination policies. The EEOC will monitor compliance with this agreement.
"Employers have an obligation to provide an accommodation to a pregnant employee, particularly if they are providing the same accommodation to other employees," said Melissa Barrios, director of the EEOC's Fresno Local Office, which includes San Benito County in its jurisdiction. "We commend Peninsula Packaging for working with the EEOC to resolve this charge and for implementing measures intended to prevent discrimination in the workplace."
According to the company's website, www.peninsulapackaging.com, Peninsula Packaging provides design, development, and the production of packaging for consumer-ready produce, bakery, deli, and other on-the-go food items.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.