Long Island Company Fired Employee Within Days of Learning of Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charges
NEW YORK - Cassone Leasing, Inc. violated federal law when it summarily dismissed an employee upon learning that she was pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. Long Island-based Cassone leases, rents and sells new and used office trailers and storage containers.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Cassone hired the employee in early April 2018, when she was approximately 12 weeks pregnant. At that time, her pregnancy was not visible and she did not disclose it to Cassone. On May 10, 2018, Cassone gave the employee her 30-day review, rating her performance as an "89," which denoted "Above Satisfactory" and which was just one point shy of "Excellent." The very next day, however, Cassone's operations manager became aware of her pregnancy and made the decision to fire her for pretextual reasons.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination because of pregnancy.
The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Cassone Leasing, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-03721) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages on behalf of the affected employee. The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief designed to remedy and prevent pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. The agency's litigation effort will be led by Trial Attorney Renay Oliver and Supervisory Trial Attorney Nora Curtin.
"An employee who is ready, willing, and able to work should not be fired merely because she is pregnant," said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC's New York District.
Kevin Berry, director of the EEOC's New York District, added, "It is regrettable that this company saw fit to deprive a pregnant woman of her employment just when she needed her salary the most. The EEOC takes pregnancy discrimination seriously."
The EEOC's New York District Office is responsible for addressing discrimination charges and conducting agency litigation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.