Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chick-fil-A Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement

On June 5, 2014, the Charlotte District Office of the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) announced that a Concord, N.C. Chick-fil-A has agreed to pay $10,000 and provide substantial injunctive relief to settle the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit that was filed against the franchise in 2013.  In 2012, John Charping, the owner, interviewed Heather Morrison for a team member position.  During the interview Morrison was six months pregnant, and was asked a series of pregnancy related questions.  Three days after the interview Morrison was informed that she would not be hired, and to call back after she had the baby and appropriate childcare. The EEOC filed a lawsuit against this Chick-fil-A alleging that Morrison did not receive the position as a result of her pregnancy.  Equal Employment Opportunity Commision v. John Charping d/b/a Chick-fil-A.

            Refusing to hire an applicant, or discriminating against a current employee, due to pregnancy is unlawful pursuant to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.  The PDA, which was an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, was enacted to prohibit discrimination against women on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and/or related medical conditions.  In addition to the monetary relief to Morrison, the company entered into a two-year consent decree that requires the company to implement a policy that prohibits pregnancy-based discrimination, as well as annual training on pregnancy discrimination for employees, supervisors and managers.  The company is also required to report to the EEOC all job openings that come available during the next two years, along with any pregnant applicants.

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