Presidente Supermarket in Miami, Florida is under fire in a new pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.
For many women, pregnancy is a rollercoaster of emotions. There are countless things to plan and set up, from choosing a hospital to deliver at, picking out baby clothes and diaper bags, setting up a nursery, and so much more, there is plenty to keep expectant moms busy during pregnancy. One thing pregnant women should not have to stress out about is their jobs. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination is alive and well today. Fortunately, agencies and organizations are fighting to protect the rights of these women. For example, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just filed a lawsuit against Presidente Supermarket No. 31, Inc. in Miami, Florida after the supermarket fired a female employee because she was pregnant.
Presidente Supermarket is a Florida supermarket chain with more than 30 locations throughout the Sunshine state. In the suit the EEOC filed, the supermarket violated federal law when it fired the pregnant employee. According to the lawsuit, “as soon as Presidente management learned that the employee was pregnant, the manager terminated her.” From there, the employee’s manager allegedly “told coworkers that the employee could not return to work because she was pregnant.”
This action is in direct violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The suit itself was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida after the agency attempted to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement with Presidente Supermarket. As part of the suit, the EEOC is asking for “back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the employee, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent any further discriminatory practices.”
When commenting on the lawsuit, Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Miami District Office said:
“Female employees should not be forced to work with the fear of losing their jobs because they are pregnant…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, also chimed in and said:
“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 is a federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws designed to prevent any type of employment discrimination.