Health Care Clothing Manufacturer Fired Employee Due to Pregnancy, Federal Agency Charged
OXFORD, Miss. - Landau Uniforms, Inc., a Mississippi-based company that manufactures and distributes medical scrubs and other health care-related clothing, will pay $80,000 and furnish other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Landau Uniforms violated federal law by subjecting Tara Smith, who worked for Landau Uniforms at its manufacturing and shipping facility in Olive Branch, Miss., to unequal terms and conditions of employment because of her pregnancy. The EEOC alleged that Landau Uniforms then disciplined and discharged Smith because of her pregnancy and in retaliation for opposing the unequal terms and conditions of employment.
Pregnancy discrimination and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action 2:11-cv-00201) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division, after first attempting to settle the matter through its conciliation process.
Besides the $80,000 monetary relief, the 12-month consent decree settling the lawsuit prohibits Landau Uniforms from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex or retaliation. The decree requires training on employee rights under Title VII and requires Landau Uniforms to maintain records of discrimination complaints and provide a report on them to the EEOC. The decree also requires Landau Uniforms to post a notice to all employees about the lawsuit that provides the EEOC's contact information.
"Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination continues to be a real problem in the workplace," said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "Employers cannot penalize female employees based on discriminatory stereotypes about pregnancy. The EEOC will continue to work to eradicate this type of discriminatory conduct."
Landau Uniforms, Inc. is based in Olive Branch. According to its website, it has more than 1,000 associates and its medical scrubs are distributed to retail stores across the country and internationally.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.