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M2, Day & Zimmerman Settle Pregnancy Discrimination Suit with Former Pregnant Employee

— August 21, 2019

A pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against Day & Zimmermann Group, Inc. and Sunrise Beach Corporation, doing business as M2 Services Corporation recently settled for $125K.

A pregnancy discrimination lawsuit recently settled for $125,000. The suit was originally filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Day & Zimmermann Group, Inc. and Sunrise Beach Corporation, doing business as M2 Services Corporation over allegations Day & Zimmermann and M2 “violated federal law by subjecting a pregnant employee to discrimination, forcing her to take an unpaid leave of absence upon learning that she was pregnant, and ultimately firing her because of her pregnancy.”

Image of the EEOC seal
Seal of the EEOC; image courtesy of U.S. Government via Wikimedia Commons,

According to the suit, the employee, who was working as an M2 aircraft worker cleaner, notified M2 that she was pregnant. Unfortunately, what should have been a happy, exciting time in the employee’s life quickly went sour. Shortly after learning of the employee’s pregnancy, the company “placed her on an involuntary and unpaid leave of absence.” Why? Well, according to M2, the employee had to “obtain medical authorization before returning to work.” The employee obliged, though even after she was cleared to continue working by her medical provider, “M2 refused to allow her to return to work and, in February 2016, M2 fired her,” according to the EEOC.

As a result, the employee contacted the EEOC. After an investigation into the matter, the federal agency determined M2’s conduct violated “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on sex.” Additionally, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act further states that “Title VII includes, but is not limited to, discrimination based on pregnancy and related medical conditions.”

In addition to the monetary relief awarded to the former M2 employee, the settlement “provides for extensive injunctive relief to help secure a workplace free from sex discrimination in all of its forms, and pregnancy discrimination in particular.” This means that, as per the agreement, M2 will have to create and implement a pregnancy non-discrimination policy and must hold annual mandatory training sessions for staff and managers. According to the settlement, “both the policy and training will address discrimination based on unreasonable notions, assumptions and/or stereotypes about pregnant women.” On top of that, M2 must post a notice in its facilities “advising employees of their rights.” Lastly, M2 is also required to provide a “job reference for its former employee.”

When commenting on the matter, Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Miami District, said:

“This settlement reflects the EEOC’s ongoing commitment to protecting women against sex and pregnancy discrimination at work. Employment decisions based on paternal­istic notions or stereotypes about pregnancy will not be tolerated.”

Michael Farrell, director of the EEOC’s Miami District, also chimed in and said:

Pregnancy discrimination is simply unacceptable. The EEOC remains steadfast in its mission to eradicate it from the workplace.”


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