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Joanne Wojcik

Furniture store that didn't hire pregnant woman must pay: Court

April 21, 2014 - 2:34pm

EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Case


A midsize office furnishings and architectural store in New York City has agreed to pay $90,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charging it with reneging on an employment to a job applicant who was pregnant.

The April 17 consent decree settles an EEOC lawsuit filed Jan. 30 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, that claimed that Benhar Office Interiors L.L.C. withdrew a job offer for a controller position that had been extended to a qualified job applicant after learning of her pregnancy. Benhar later hired a nonpregnant applicant instead. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on pregnancy.

In addition to monetary relief, the settlement also requires that Benhar provide training on laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The three-year consent decree also requires the company to distribute and post a revised anti-discrimination policy and to provide to the EEOC all employee complaints of sex and/or pregnancy discrimination.

“Employers have a duty to respect the ability of pregnant women to participate in the workforce,” said EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Robert D. Rose, in a statement. “The EEOC is committed to enforcing the law when employers fall short of this duty.

Benhar President Mark Benhar declined to comment on the settlement.

 



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