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Nix Hospital System Agrees to Pay $40K to Settle Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

— September 3, 2019

Nix Hospital Systems, LLC is forking over $40,000 to settle allegations of pregnancy discrimination.

A pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against Nix Hospital System, LLC recently settled for $40,000. The suit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over allegations that the hospital, doing business as Nix Healthcare System, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), when it refused to “accommodate the employee’s pregnancy-related medical restrictions, resulting in her termination.”

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

According to the suit, before the employee’s termination, she “applied for two open desk positions which would have allowed her to work even with her medical restrictions.” Unfortunately for her, the hospital denied her request even as “non-pregnant employees injured on the job with medical restrictions were granted light duty.”

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division. However, before the suit was filed, the EEOC attempted to reach a “pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.” It’s important to note that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which is part of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate based on pregnancy and it’s even considered a form of sex discrimination. Under the PDA, “employers are prohibited from engaging in discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, including when employers refuse to accommodate a worker’s pregnancy-related medical conditions but do accommodate other workers similar in their ability or inability to work.

As part of the settlement, the decree, which was approved by U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez, requires Nix Hospital to post a notice of intent in the hospital stating it will comply with Title VII. Additionally, the hospital must also “revise its policy to ensure that it prohibits pregnancy discrimination including the accommodation of pregnancy-related conditions.”

When commenting on the case, Philip Moss, a trial attorney for the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office said:

“We are pleased that this employer agreed to provide additional training for its human resources staff on sex and pregnancy discrimination. Nix will also revise its employment policies to better reflect the rights of employees who are pregnant.”

Eduardo Juarez, an EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney also chimed in and said:

A woman should not have to choose between her pregnancy and her job. Employers should not refuse to accommodate pregnant workers based on considerations of cost or convenience when they accommodate other workers who are similar in their ability to work.”


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