NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline)
— The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced a
lawsuit against G6 Hospitality, which does business as Motel 6, for allegations
of placing a pregnant employee on leave solely due to her pregnancy.
According to EEOC, motel
employee Adrian Johnson became pregnant and notified management, stating that
the pregnancy was considered “high-risk.” On March 1, 2015, Johnson purportedly
called her manager to inform him of an illness that would force her to take the
day off. The manager cleared her from the schedule for the whole week, the EEOC says.
When Johnson asked when she would be put back on the schedule, she was
allegedly informed that she would be removed from the schedule until her
pregnancy was over. Johnson, according to EEOC, never asked to be placed on a
leave of absence.
“This lawsuit should remind
everyone unmistakably that federal law protects pregnant workers from such
treatment,” said Jim Sacher, regional attorney for EEOC's Houston District.
“The fact that a manager would send a text explicitly suspending an employee because
she is pregnant highlights the need for EEOC to continue its vigorous
enforcement of pregnancy discrimination law - and that's what we'll do.”
EEOC seeks injunctive relief
that would bar the company from participating in this kind of alleged
discrimination in the future. It will also seek compensatory and punitive damages
"EEOC will aggressively
investigate allegations of pregnancy discrimination and pursue meaningful
relief in order to eliminate this type of unlawful conduct,” said Keith Hill, the New Orleans Field Office director.