U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Aviation Products Manufacturer Violated Federal Law by Firing Expectant Mother, Federal Agency Charges
ATLANTA - Wencor Group, LLC, a manufacturer and supplier of aviation parts based in Peachtree City, Ga., violated federal law when it discharged a pregnant employee rather than accommodate her pregnancy-related medical restrictions, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC's complaint, in July 2015, Kenyetta Bowles began working for Wencor in its warehouse, packaging airplane parts. On Sept. 30, Bowles was instructed by management to perform a work task that conflicted with medical restrictions imposed by her doctor due to her pregnancy. Bowles provided Wencor management with the necessary medical documentation outlining her doctor's restrictions, but Wencor fired her the same day, with the manager telling Bowles that she could either perform the work task or go home.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which prohibits pregnancy discrimination in employment. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Newnan Division (EEOC v. Wencor Group, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:17-cv-00139-TCB-RGV) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for Bowles. The complaint also seeks injunctive relief designed to prevent future discrimination.
"Employers will be held accountable for differential treatment of employees based on their pregnancy, and any policies that impose on them an unfair burden must be eradicated," said Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, district director for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office.
Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the Atlanta District Office, added, "The rights of women to be free from pregnancy discrimination must be protected to the fullest extent to alter the negative perceptions that pregnant women in the workforce face every day."
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.