Assisted Living Facility Fired Employee Due to Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charged
OXFORD, Miss. - Magnolia NA, LLC, which owns and operates Magnolia Place Personal Care Home, an assisted-living facility located in New Albany, Miss., will pay $20,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Magnolia hired an employee to work as a kitchen assistant. On her first day of work, the employee informed her supervisor that she was pregnant. Three hours later, Magnolia's administrator terminated the employee and later replaced her with a non-pregnant employee. Magnolia's administrator told the employee that she could re-apply only after giving birth, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Magnolia NA, LLC d/b/a Magnolia Place Personal Care Home, Civil Action No. 3:14-cv-00210) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
Besides the $20,000 in monetary relief, the two-year consent decree settling the lawsuit enjoins Magnolia from subjecting employees to pregnancy discrimination or retaliating against any employee who lodges a discrimination complaint. The consent decree also requires Magnolia to provide training on pregnancy discrimination, maintain records of any complaints of discrimination, and provide annual reports to the EEOC.
"Employers cannot discharge women because of their pregnancy," said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which serves Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "Such actions are a clear violation of federal law. Combating pregnancy discrimination remains a priority for this office and we will continue to work to eliminate this kind of bias from the workplace. In this case, we are pleased that Magnolia Place Personal Care Home chose to resolve this quickly without protracted litigation."
Magnolia NA, LLC is a Mississippi limited-liability company with its principal office in Lyon, Miss.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.