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The New York-based Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, an affiliate of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, said its law enforcement division will pay $206,500 to settle pregnancy discrimination charges filed by its female officers.
The MTA said in a statement that it has changed its policy.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Justice said in a statement last week that the authority had engaged in sex discrimination when it declared female Bridge and Tunnel Operating Force officers unfit for duty solely because they were pregnant, in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.
The statement said that pregnant officers were directed to turn in their firearms and transferred to unfavorable assignments and that medical documentation provided by the officers as to their fitness for duty was rejected by the authority's medical staff.
In addition to the settlement amount, the agreement, among other terms, requires the authority to provide in-depth training to all employees on Title VII's protection for pregnant employees.
“MTA Bridges and Tunnels is pleased to have reached a settlement on matters dating back to 2008,” the MTA said in a statement. “Since that time, Bridges and Tunnels has directed all occupational medicine consultants responsible for evaluating duty fitness to perform an individual assessment of each officer's medical condition and ability to perform the essential duties of their positions.
“With this settlement, Bridges and Tunnels will reinforce its policies to make sure they are clear, and all employees and managers have been advised of their continuing obligations under federal, state and local laws.”
A Yakima, Washington, U.S. District Court judge has ordered the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to pay $986,000 in attorney fees and costs for the representation of Green Acre Farms Inc. and Valley Fruit Orchards L.L.C. in workplace lawsuits.