Ramin, Inc., a Comfort Inn & Suites franchise owner in Taylor, Mich., has violated federal law when it terminated a pregnant housekeeper because of her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC charged in a lawsuit.
According the EEOC’s suit Case No.2:12-cv-15015; filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Ramin fired a housekeeper shortly after it learned of her pregnancy. The company stated that it could not allow her to continue to work as a housekeeper because of the potential harm to the development of her baby.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, protects female employees against discrimination based on pregnancy, and the Supreme Court has expressly rejected the notion that an employer may exclude pregnant women from employment based on its own concerns about the safety of the unborn child.
The EEOC seeks injunctive relief to prevent Ramin from discriminating against pregnant employees or applicants in the future, as well as monetary relief on behalf of the victim. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to settle the case through its conciliation process.
Lauren Gibbs Burstein, attorney in the EEOC’s Detroit Field Office said, “Pregnancy discrimination is rarely subtle. Employers may not bar pregnant employees from work because of outdated myths or stereotypes. The EEOC will vigorously defend the rights of pregnant workers to provide for their families by remaining employed.”