CHARLOTTE, 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.
The company 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.
"Pregnant 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."