WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Department of Justice announced this week the city of Florence, Kentucky, has agreed to settle allegations of pregnancy and disability discrimination brought by the department under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Florence purportedly discriminated against two pregnant police officers, denying requests for light duty. The Justice Department alleges Florence had previously assigned light duty positions for workers temporarily unable to perform regular job duties, no matter the reason. Police officers Lyndi Trischler and Samantha Riley requested light duty in 2014 but Florence forced them to leave, according to the department.
“No woman should ever have to choose between having a family and earning a salary,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Equally important, individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations deserve an opportunity to keep their jobs. The Justice Department will continue working tirelessly to protect pregnant women against unlawful discrimination in the workplace.”
The city of Florence will pay $135,000 in compensatory damages and attorney fees as well as adopt new policies that allow accommodations for pregnant employees.
“We are working closely with our colleagues at the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, and this consent decree is an excellent result of the partnership between the EEOC and the DOJ,” said director Michelle Eisele of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office. “We look forward to future successful collaborations.”