Kindred Nursing Centers West / Mountain Towers Fired Employee Because of Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charged
PHOENIX -- A Cheyenne, Wyo., health care facility has agreed to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC’s lawsuit, EEOC v. Kindred Nursing Centers West, 10-CV-207F, charged that Kindred Nursing Centers West, LLC, doing business as Mountain Towers Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, violated federal anti-discrimination laws when it disciplined and then fired a pregnant employee shortly after learning she was pregnant.
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming in Cheyenne after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The case settled with a consent decree, which requires anti-discrimination training and $10,000 for the discrimination victim.
“We are pleased that Kindred has resolved this case,” said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “Pregnancy discrimination remains a persistent problem in the 21 st century workplace. Employers cannot change the terms of employment, discipline, or fire women simply because of pregnancy -- women should never be forced to choose between motherhood and their livelihood, especially in these difficult economic times.”
EEOC Denver Field Director Nancy A. Sienko added, “Federal law protects a woman’s right to keep her job when she becomes pregnant. Violations of the law will be met with rigorous enforcement by our agency.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.