dELiA*s Inc., a retailer marketing to teenage girls and young women, has agreed to pay $75,000 and adopt training and policy changes to settle a pregnancy discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the lawsuit after first attempting but failing to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The EEOC alleged that after two employees told company managers about their respective pregnancies, company officials subjected them to harassment, including repeatedly questioning their ability to do their jobs. According to the EEOC, Nicole Young, a fashion representative, was terminated in retaliation for complaining about the discrimination. Mallory Martin, a co-manager, was forced to take early maternity leave due to the harassment even though she was able to continue working, the EEOC said.
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, prohibits employers from discriminating against female employees based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Title VII also makes it illegal to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise retaliate against job applicants or employees because they complained or filed a charge of discrimination, or because they participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
In addition to paying $75,000 in compensatory damages, dELIA's must post notices about the settlement at all of its stores in its Mid-Atlantic District. The company must provide training to supervisors, managers and hiring officials and revise its employee handbook. For the next 30 months, the company must also report to the EEOC how it addresses any complaints of pregnancy discrimination or retaliation.
If you believe that you have been discriminated or retaliated against, then you should consult with an experienced attorney immediately to protect your rights. To schedule a free initial consultation by telephone or in person, call my office today at (212) 601-2728 or click here to communicate with me via email.
New York, New York
Sources: EEOC Press Release; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
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