Home Health Care Company Terminated Employee Because of Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charged
DALLAS - Your Health Team, L.L.C. (Your Health Team) has agreed to pay $20,000 and provide other significant relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. EEOC charged in its suit that Your Health Team fired a female home health aide because she became pregnant. Your Heath Team is a home health agency that provides nursing and home health care on the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
According to EEOC's suit, Zanna Clore-Rios was told to obtain a doctor's note after the employer learned of her pregnancy. Despite providing confirmation from her doctor that she could return to work, the company decided to fire the aide just minutes after she furnished the required note.
Such alleged conduct violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which is a part of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and which prohibits employers from subjecting women to discrimination due to pregnancy. EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division (Case No. 3:15-cv-02959) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
Under the terms of the two-year Consent Decree settling the case, Your Health Team will pay $20,000 in damages to Clore-Rios for harms alleged. In addition, the employer agreed to implement a written policy prohibiting discrimination in the workplace including pregnancy discrimination and to provide training for employees on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with a special focus on the PDA. Your Health Team will report to EEOC regarding its compliance with the Consent Decree and post a notice to employees about the settlement.
"We appreciate the employer's willingness to reach a settlement in this matter without extensive litigation," said Joel Clark, Senior Trial Attorney for the Dallas District office. "This settlement will help the company develop a commitment to a workplace free of unlawful discrimination."
Robert Canino, Regional Attorney for EEOC's Dallas District Office added, "It is difficult to understand how an employer in the health care field can demonstrate a disregard for authorization by a medical professional. Women in the workplace must be afforded equal opportunity to continue working and earning income in anticipation of the needs of a growing family."
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.