Company Rescinded Promotion Because of Employee's Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charges
NEWARK, N.J. - Receivable Management, Inc., d/b/a Kramer and Associates, a debt collections firm located in Hackensack, N.J., violated federal law by rescinding its offer to promote an employee because she was pregnant, according to a lawsuit filed March 19, 2015 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
According to the EEOC's complaint, Carol Vartanian was offered a promotion to a managerial position. The company rescinded the offer after Vartanian told her supervisor that she was pregnant. The company told her she needed to focus on her health and that her maternity leave would coincide with tax season, the company's busiest time of the year.
Basing employment decisions on an employee's pregnancy violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Receivable Management, Inc., d/b/a Kramer and Associates, Case No. 2:15-cv-01997-SDW-SCM) in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. In its suit, the EEOC seeks injunctive relief to prohibit Kramer & Associates from making employment decisions on the basis of pregnancy in the future. The EEOC also is seeking back pay and other damages for Vartanian.
"When an employer acts on the paternalistic view that pregnancy diminishes a woman's ability to work or interferes with the employer's operations, it is a violation of federal law," said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Rosemary DiSavino.
EEOC New York District Regional Attorney Robert D. Rose said, "Unfortunately, women are still victimized by employer biases and false concerns regarding pregnancy. The EEOC is committed to combating such discriminatory stereotypes."
Kevin Berry, director of the EEOC's New York District Office, added, "Rescinding an employee's promotion just because she is pregnant is blatant discrimination. Employers should know that they cannot make employment decisions based on pregnancy or any other category protected by federal law."
The EEOC's New York District Office oversees New York, Northern New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.