N.C. (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
announced Feb. 3 that RTG Furniture Corp of Georgia, a Florida corporation that
operates a chain of Rooms to Go furniture stores and distribution centers
nationwide, will pay $55,000 after allegations of pregnancy discrimination.
purportedly hired Chantoni McBryde on June 1, 2015 and assigned her to work as
a shop apprentice at a temporary training facility. McBryde later informed
management that she was pregnant. Afterward, she was called into a meeting
where the regional shop manager showed McBryde a can of lacquer thinner used in
the facility that had warnings about risks to pregnant women.
The company then
purportedly told McBryde she could not work in the facility. The EEOC said this
decision violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
women have the right to make their own decisions about working while pregnant,
including the risks they are willing to assume," said Lynette A. Barnes,
regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office. "If there may
be a potential health concern, it is up to the woman and her doctors to evaluate.
Companies must not impose paternalistic notions on pregnant women, as doing so
can result in unlawful discrimination."