Company Fired Employee Because She Was Pregnant, Federal Agency Charged
MIAMI – Presidente Supermarket No. 31, Inc., a Miami location in a chain of over 30 supermarkets in Florida, violated federal law by firing an employee because she was pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, as soon as Presidente management learned that the employee was pregnant, the manager terminated her. The manager then told coworkers that the employee could not return to work because she was pregnant.
Terminating an employee because of her pregnancy violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Presidente Super-market No. 31, Inc., Case No. 21-cv-23411) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida after first attempting reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement. The agency is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the employee, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent any further discriminatory practices.
“Female employees should not be forced to work with the fear of losing their jobs because they are pregnant,” said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District Office. “The EEOC received over 2,500 charges of pregnancy discrimination last year, and the Commission recovered over $15 million in relief for victims of pregnancy discrimination. We will continue to fight for female employees’ right to work and have children.”
Paul Valenti, director of the EEOC’s Miami’s District Office, emphasized, “A pregnant worker is often in special need of the job security afforded by the PDA to be able to continue earning money for her growing family. It is important that employers understand that they cannot fire a woman simply because she is pregnant and will need maternity leave.”
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.