New Mexico convenience store chain to pay $950,000 after alleged pregnancy discrimination

By Mark Iandolo | Oct 10, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Sept. 25 that Allsup’s Convenience Stores Inc., which owns more than 300 convenience stores, will pay $950,000 to resolve allegations of pregnancy and disability discrimination.

"We see too many cases where employers think that pregnancy-related disabilities are not covered by the ADA," said EEOC Phoenix District Office regional attorney Mary Jo O'Neill. 

"Employers must understand that the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 clarified that employees and applicants with pregnancy-related disabilities are protected from discrimination based on those disabilities. An employer cannot place an employee with a pregnancy-related disability on involuntary leave or fire her because of her disability or her pregnancy."

According to EEOC, managers and area managers of Allsup’s purportedly subjected pregnant employees to unfavorable working conditions due to their pregnancies. The company also allegedly denied reasonable accommodation to employees dealing with disabilities related to their pregnancies.

"Pregnancy discrimination is far too common,” said Elizabeth Cadle, district director of the EEOC's Phoenix District Office. “In the 2016 fiscal year alone, 3,486 charges of pregnancy discrimination were filed with the EEOC. The outcome here should remind all employers of their obligations under the law and encourage them to respect the rights of pregnant employees."

The EEOC's Phoenix District Office oversees agency operations in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and part of New Mexico.

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