MINNEAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a lawsuit Sept. 25 against Trinity Health in North Dakota for alleged pregnancy discrimination.
"The [Pregnancy Discrimination Act] makes it clear that an employer must accommodate pregnant employees to the same extent that it accommodates other employees similar in their ability or inability to work," said Gregory Gochanour, regional attorney of the EEOC's Chicago District Office. "In turn, the ADA requires an employer accommodate disabling conditions. Trinity [followed] neither obligation."
According to allegations, Trinity Health fired an employee upon learning of her pregnancy and pregnancy-related disabilities. The employee requested light-duty work because of the disability; Trinity Health purportedly denied her request. It also allegedly failed to provide her with statute-required leave.
"The nurse was willing and able to perform light-duty work. Instead, Trinity fired her,” said Jean Kamp, associate regional attorney of the EEOC's Chicago District Office. “When employees are treated this way, the EEOC is ready to step in."
The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunctive relief to prevent Trinity Health from committing further alleged discrimination.