Restaurant Fired Employees Because of Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charges
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Noodles Asian Bistro, Inc., an Asian restaurant located in Bartlett, Tenn., violated federal law when it fired two female servers because of their pregnancies, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The EEOC also alleged that Noodles Asian Bistro failed to post and keep posted the notice of non-discrimination rights as required by federal law.
According to the EEOC's suit, Noodles fired the two servers after it decided they were too big (due to their pregnancies) to wait tables.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Noodles Asian Bistro, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-2153) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks injunctive relief to prohibit Noodles from discharging employees because of pregnancy in the future. In addition, the EEOC seeks equitable relief in the form of reinstatement and back pay, as well as compensatory and punitive damages for the discharged servers.
"Despite the paternalistic age-old stereotypes that persist about pregnant women and work, not only can women work while pregnant, they have a right to do so," said Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "To determine that pregnant employees are 'too big to work' is blatant disregard for the law. Combating this type of discrimination remains a top priority for this office."
Noodles Asian Bistro, Inc. is a Tennessee corporation with locations in Bartlett and Germantown, Tenn.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.