FRESNO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced a lawsuit against Dash Dreams Plant Inc., a grower and wholesale distributor of orchids in Dos Palos, California, for allegations of violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
“We continue to see pregnant women face barriers in the workplace, which in turn contributes to the continuing disparity in pay between men and women,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes Merced County.
According to the commission, the company told female employees in a 2014 staff meeting not to get pregnant, that they have too many children, and the next person to get pregnant should consider themselves fired. The company purportedly failed to reinstate or rehire pregnant women at the end of their maternity leave.
The EEOC seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for a class of women, in addition to injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination by Dash Dreams Plant.
"Employers need to be aware that pregnancy discrimination laws also protect employees after they have given birth,” said Melissa Barrios, director of the EEOC's Fresno office. “Failing to reinstate an employee after maternity leave and discharging them can be a violation of the law.”