A husband and wife formerly employed by Engineering Documentation Systems, Inc., fought back against pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination and recently won. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that EDSI had agreed to a $70,000 settlement for the employment discrimination claims and to implement anti-discrimination policies at the Nevada company.
EDSI was also required to remove any negative performance reviews from both employees’ personnel files and to provide positive recommendations to future employers when asked about both the male and female’s employment history.
A female technical assistant for EDSI was the subject of derogatory comments by management after informing her superiors of her pregnancy. She suffered from severe bouts of nausea during her pregnancy and asked to be moved closer to a bathroom. Her request for an accommodation for her pregnancy-related disability was denied.
After giving birth, the female employee took time off for maternity leave. During her leave, her position description was modified to require that she carry live ammunition in the course of doing her job. She was terminated while on leave for not meeting the newly-created requirement.
The woman’s husband also worked for EDSI, as a lead engineering technician. He participated in his wife’s pregnancy discrimination investigation against the company, resulting in his own demotion and eventual termination.
The Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act protected the female employee during her pregnancy and after childbirth. Workers are also protected from retaliation for asserting employment rights guaranteed under federal and state law.
Source: EEOC, “EDSI to Pay $70,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy & Disability Discrimination Suit,” April 15, 2013