Company Fired Female Employee After Learning She Was Pregnant, Federal Agency Charges
SAN DIEGO — Tarr, Inc. and Zenith, LLC, a San Diego-based company that sells dietary supplements, violated federal law when it fired an employee within days of learning of her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed today.
According to EEOC’s lawsuit, an employee who worked at Tarr, Inc. in San Diego informed the company of her pregnancy and was terminated ten days later. The EEOC also contends that the company discharged other pregnant employees or refused their requests to return to work after taking maternity leave. Tarr, Inc. merged with Zenith, LLC in 2016.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (EEOC v. Tarr, Inc., and Zenith, LLC, Case No. 3:17-cv-01660-W-WVG) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC’s suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for the female employee and a class of similarly affected employees, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination at the business.
“Pregnancy discrimination continues to be a persistent problem,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes San Diego County. “Employers should be cognizant of their obligations under federal law to maintain a workplace free of discrimination.”
Christopher Green, director of the EEOC’s San Diego local office, added, “Women should not have to choose between their job or having children. Employers need to be aware that the EEOC takes pregnancy discrimination seriously and the agency will continue to protect the rights of pregnant employees.”
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.