THE GLENRIDGE ON PALMER RANCH SUED BY EEOC FOR PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION
Retirement Community Failed to Hire Woman That It Suspected Would Become Pregnant, Federal Agency Charges
TAMPA – The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch, an upscale retirement community in Sarasota, Fla., violated federal law by refusing to hire and promote a woman because of her potential to become pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed Friday.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Michelle Fredericks began working in The Glenridge’s dining department in 2007. In 2015, Glenridge managers encouraged Fredericks to apply for an open position as a dining room supervisor. Before Fredericks applied, a manager texted her to ask when she planned on having another baby, explaining, “With this position it doesn’t leave a lot of time off for long periods of time.” Glenridge failed to interview Fredericks and offered the dining supervisor position to a female that it did not believe would become pregnant, the EEOC said.
Pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division (EEOC v. The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch, Inc., Case No. 8:18-cv-2340-T-O2-CPT) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the discrimination victim. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to prevent and correct pregnancy discrimination in the future and training of Glenridge’s managers and supervisors about federal equal employment opportunity laws.
“The Pregnancy Discrimination Act celebrates its 40th anniversary this year,” said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Miami District. “Still, as the New York Times recently highlighted, the number of pregnancy discrimination charges filed annually with the EEOC is close to an all-time high. The EEOC continues, with this suit, to seek vigorous enforcement of the laws that protect all women from this kind of intentional and harmful discrimination.”
The EEOC’s Tampa Field Office Director, Evangeline Hawthorne, added, “To deny a woman employment because she may become pregnant places her and her family in a position of immeasurable harm. The EEOC remains steadfast in its commitment to take legal action against those who engage in such unlawful tactics.”
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.