Owner of Detroit-Area Comfort Inn & Suites to Pay $27,500 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Bias Suit

DETROIT -- Ramin Inc., the owner of a Comfort Inn & Suites  in Taylor, Mich., will pay $27,500 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit  (EEOC v. Ramin, Inc., 2012-cv-15015) filed by the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According  to the EEOC's suit, Ramin fired a housekeeper after she reported her pregnancy  to them.  Management stated it could not  allow the employee to continue to work as a housekeeper because of the  potential harm to the development of her baby, the EEOC said. 

Title VII  of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act  (PDA), protects female employees against discrimination based on  pregnancy.  Under the statute, an  employer may not exclude pregnant women from employment based on the employer's  supposed concerns about the safety of the mother or unborn fetus.  The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to  reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In a consent decree filed with the  U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the company agreed to  pay $2,500 in back pay and $25,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.  In addition, Ramin agreed to a permanent  injunction enjoining it from discriminating against an employee due to her  pregnancy or requiring a pregnant employee to provide medical documents that  releases her to work.  The decree  requires that Ramin provide training to all of its managerial and non-managerial  employees on sex and pregnancy discrimination; draft a new employee policy  regarding sex and pregnancy discrimination; post a notice regarding the suit  for all employees; and report to the EEOC for four years.  The injunction, training, policy revisions,  and EEOC monitoring constitute targeted, equitable relief that aims to prevent  similar violations in the future.  

As detailed in its Strategic  Enforcement Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016, the EEOC has made obtaining  targeted, equitable relief one of its top priorities.

"This is a favorable resolution for  everyone," explained EEOC Trial Attorney Lauren Gibbs Burstein.  "We appreciate that Ramin worked with us to  resolve this case before we had to engage in lengthy discovery and litigation  proceedings."

The EEOC enforces federal laws  prohibiting employment discrimination.   Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.

 

Topics:  Back Pay, EEOC, Pregnancy Discrimination, Punitive Damages

Published In: Civil Rights Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »