CHARLOTTE, N.C (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit March 7 against Century Care of Laurinburg Inc., which does business as Scottish Pines Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, alleging pregnancy-related discrimination against two employees.

The EEOC says Scottish Pines failed to grant the same reasonable accommodations to certified nursing assistants (CNAs) who suffered pregnancy-related complications that it offered to CNAs who were injured at work. When CNA Mary Jacobs asked for a lifting restriction because of pregnancy-related complications in November 2014, the company allegedly placed her on unpaid leave rather than granting the request.

According to the EEOC, the company eventually terminated Jacobs when her leave expired. Alleged conduct of this nature violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The EEOC also alleges CNA Laketa Watts was discriminated against because of her pregnancy as well. 

The commission seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for Jacobs and Watts and injunctive relief against Scottish Pines.

"Employers must generally treat the work restrictions of pregnant employees just like those of non-pregnant employees," Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office, said in a statement. "Companies must be careful not to violate federal anti-discrimination law when they pick and choose which employees to accommodate."

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