Greenforest Community Baptist Church agrees to pay $53,000 to settle two pregnancy discrimination lawsuits. The lawsuits were filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of Victoria Brown and Shuntal Prince. According to details in the lawsuit Greenforest violated federal law when it fired Prince and rescinded a job offer to Brown after learning they were pregnant. They company not only engaged in pregnancy discrimination but also retaliation.
In the case of Brown she already received an employment offer when she went for a follow-up meeting with the headmaster to discuss some final pre-employment matters before she was to begin her new job. During this meeting, Brown informed the headmaster that she was pregnant and the headmaster told her she would not be able to teach there because of her pregnancy. This is a clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In the second case Prince was called into a meeting with the school’s director to discuss some concerns she had about Prince’s health. Although the context of the meeting seemed routine it was really a pretext for discussing Princes pregnancy. During the meeting, the director told Prince she heard rumors that Prince was pregnant. Prince confirmed that she was pregnant and the director fired her.
“Pregnant women have an equal right to participate in the work force,” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office.
This type of conduct by a company is so backwards it is hard to believe it happened. Firing a woman because she is pregnant is not only a violation of federal law but also morally wrong. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and adds additional protection to women. Woman have enough to worry about after facing years of gender discrimination.