Platinum P.T.S. To Pay $100k to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

Oil Business Company Fired Clerk After Requesting Leave for a Pregnancy-Related  Condition, Federal Agency Charged

LAREDO, Texas - Platinum P.T.S., Inc., a Laredo-based  company which provides oil/gas testing, measuring, surveying and analysis  surveys, and oil and gas exploration and development, will pay a former  employee $100,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the  U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced  today.

The EEOC's lawsuit, Civil Action No. 5:12-cv-00139, filed in  U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Laredo Division,  charged that Platinum P.T.S fired a clerk after she requested time off for  medical treatment to address a miscarriage.   A companion suit filed by the former employee accused Texans Oil &  Gas Services, a related company owned and managed by the President of Platinum,  P.T.S., of pregnancy discrimination based on her termination.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights  Act of 1964, as amended the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA).  Under the PDA, employers are prohibited from  engaging in sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, including making  employment decisions based on childbirth or any medical conditions affected by  pregnancy.  It is a violation of federal  law to fire an employee because she became pregnant and then suffered  complications.  After the EEOC's San  Antonio Field Office found reasonable cause to believe that Platinum P.T.S. had  violated the PDA, the agency attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement  through its conciliation process.

"Employers must be on notice that it can be illegal and  costly to treat pregnant employees differently solely because of their  pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition," said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney  David Rivela.  "Employers should not  assume that miscarriages will affect employees' ability to work."

Judith G. Taylor, the San Antonio Filed Office's supervisory  trial attorney, added, "In recent years, we have seen a significant increase in  the number of pregnancy discrimination charges.   We are pleased that Platinum will take steps to ensure future compliance  with the law."

In fiscal year 2012, the EEOC received 30,356 charges of  sex-based discrimination, of which 3,745 alleged pregnancy discrimination.  In that year the EEOC recovered $14.3 million  in monetary benefits for pregnancy discrimination victims through settlements,  plus more monetary benefits obtained through litigation.

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

 


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.

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