Residential Care Provider Refused to Put Pregnant Worker on Light Duty and Fired Her Instead, Federal Agency Had Charged
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Silverado, a network of memory care, at-home care, and hospice care centers, will pay $80,000 and provide other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Silverado discriminated against Shaquena Burton, a caregiver at the Silverado Oak Village facility in Menomonee Falls, Wisc., when it fired her rather than accommodate her pregnancy-related medical restrictions, which it could have done by putting her on light duty assignment.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which protects employees from discrimination based on pregnancy. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Silverado Menomonee Falls, LLC d/b/a Silverado Oak Village and Silverado Senior Living, Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-1147) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee on August 22, 2017, after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree settling the suit, entered by U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller on January 29, prohibits future discrimination, prohibits retaliation, and provides that Silverado will pay $80,000 to Burton. Silverado must also post notices of the settlement, revise its anti-discrimination and record-keeping policies, report any requests for light duty or other job modifications periodically to the EEOC, and train its managers regarding those rights, obligations, and procedures.
"We thank Silverado for its commitment to settle this case before the sides incurred significant costs and its willingness to ensure a level playing field for its pregnant employees seeking job modifications, including light duty work, otherwise available to non-pregnant employees," said EEOC Chicago Regional Attorney Gregory M. Gochanour. "The EEOC will continue to enforce the federal laws so that all pregnant employees have the same opportunities as non-pregnant employees to contribute to our thriving economy," said Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's District Director for the Chicago District Office.