HOUSTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced May 17 that Carolina Creek Christian Camp Inc., a business that offers summer camping and retreats in Huntsville, Texas, will pay $70,000 after allegations of pregnancy and disability discrimination.
"Demoting a pregnant employee because of a belief that a pregnancy-related condition prevents her from performing her job duties is illegal, as is firing the employee for complaining the demotion is discriminatory," said Rudy Sustaita, the EEOC's regional attorney in Houston.
According to allegations, Carolina Creek demoted employee Korrie L. Reed after learning she had a complication during pregnancy. Reed had started to work as a camp registrar when she learned she was pregnant.
Soon afterward, she developed gestational diabetes. Carolina Creek allegedly demoted her, stating that the job was too demanding for her due to her pregnancy and medical condition. Reed never asked for reassignment and told the company she believed its actions were illegal, she says. According to EEOC, Carolina Creek’s response was to fire her and sue her in two different lawsuits.
"The day is over when an employer could force a pregnant woman out of her job because of stereotypical, unsupported beliefs about her abilities,” said EEOC senior trial attorney Connie Gatlin, the attorney in charge of litigating the case. “A company cannot take it upon itself to remove an employee from her job because it suspects her pregnancy or a pregnancy-related medical condition may interfere with the performance of her duties."