Company Unlawfully Fired Employees for Protected Activity, Federal Agency Charges
COLUMBUS – Dollar General, a retail store located in Marion, Ohio, violated federal law by firing two employees in retaliation for their participation in a pregnancy discrimination investigation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.
The EEOC said Dollar General retaliated against store manager Samantha Day-Baker and assistant store manager Darla Householder after Day-Baker filed a discrimination charge alleging pregnancy discrimination and Householder testified in the investigation. Subsequent to the EEOC processing Day-Baker’s discrimination charge, the company began to scrutinize payroll functions being performed by both women. Dollar General fired Samantha Day-Baker and Darla Householder on Feb. 15, 2010 for violations of the payroll edit policy, although similar violations were committed by numerous other employees who had not participated in a discrimination investigation and were not terminated.
Through these actions, Dollar General violated the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, according to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Civil Action No.2:12-cv-00338, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. In its lawsuit, the EEOC seeks injunctive relief and damages as well as lost wages and benefits because of Dollar General’s discrimination.
“It is a federally protected right to file a charge of discrimination, and employees who stand up for their rights should be commended, not fired,” said Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland, and portions of New Jersey and Ohio.
According to company information, Tennessee-based Dollar General Corporation is the nation's largest small-box discount retailer, with 9,800-plus stores throughout the country.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.