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PRESS RELEASE
9-30-13

Spartanburg Trucking Company Sued for Pregnancy Discrimination and Retaliation

Kenan Transport Forced  Pregnant Employee to Take Unpaid Leave of Absence, Then Fired Her in Retaliation  for Complaints Federal Agency Charges

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Kenan Transport, LLC, a Delaware trucking company  that operates six terminals in South Carolina, violated federal law by  discriminating against a female employee because she was pregnant and by  retaliating against her because she made complaints about pregnancy  discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a  lawsuit filed today.   

According to the EEOC's complaint, Jessica Williams worked at Kenan  Transport's Spartanburg, S.C., trucking terminal as a billing clerk.  On Feb. 23, 2012, Williams had premature  labor, which her doctor was able to stop.   The EEOC alleges that when Williams notified the terminal manager her  doctor had excused her from work for a few days, the terminal manager told  Williams she would not be allowed to return to work until after the birth of  her baby.  Williams was only seven and  one-half months' pregnant at the time.   The EEOC further alleges that Williams complained to the company that  she was being forced to go out on leave because of her pregnancy and of her  intent to file a pregnancy discrimination charge.  Ultimately, Williams gave birth to her child  on March 15, 2012.  According to the  EEOC's complaint, Kenan terminated Williams on May 14 because of her pregnancy  and/or in retaliation for her complaints about discrimination.

Title  VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination  Act, prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant employees.  Title VII also prohibits employers from  retaliating against workers who complain about discrimination.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court  for the District of South Carolina, Spartanburg Division (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kenan Transport, LLC) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation  process.  The EEOC seeks back pay and  compensatory damages and punitive damages for Williams, as well as injunctive  relief. 

"Working women who choose to have children  cannot be forced to take leave because of their pregnancy," said Lynette A.  Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office.  "Employers must remember that adopting paternalistic  attitudes toward pregnant employees can result in taking actions that violate  federal law.  Employers must be careful  to treat pregnant women as they do other non-pregnant employees." 

According to company information, Kenan Transport, LLC is a subsidiary  of The Kenan Advantage Group, Inc, a network of trucking and trucking logistics  entities with locations throughout the United States.  The company delivers refined petroleum  products to gas stations and other end users and employs more than 500  individuals nationwide.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing  federal laws against employment discrimination.   Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.