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Humana Inc. has agreed to pay $500,000 plus attorneys’ fees and costs to settle a pregnancy discrimination case.
Kate Jenkins, who was hired by Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana in 2005 as field service coordinator in its Monroe Township, New Jersey, office, was promoted three times, reaching the position of regional executive director, according to the complaint in Kate Jenkins v. Humana Inc., et al.
In February 2014, she witnessed two supervisors complain about the number of employees who had requested or taken time under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
In May 2014, when she notified one of those supervisors about her pregnancy, the supervisor asked who would watch her baby while she worked and how much maternity she planned to take.
Ms. Jenkins took a leave of absence under the FMLA and the parallel New Jersey law from November 2014 until Jan. 12, 2015, according to her complaint. Upon her return, her supervisor canceled numerous appointments with her, according to the complaint. She was terminated on Jan. 29, 2019, allegedly for violations of Humana’s “critical offenses policy.”
Ms. Jenkins filed suit in U.S. District Court in Trenton, New Jersey, charging violation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the FMLA, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the New Jersey Family Leave Act.
The court issued a judgment Friday announcing the settlement.
Ms. Jenkins’ attorney, Stephen G. Console of Console Mattiacci Law Firm LLC in Philadelphia, said in a statement Ms. Jenkins “is to be applauded for her determination to fight for her civil rights, her courage to bring this lawsuit and her conviction to accept nothing short of a public judgment in her favor.” Humana’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
In January, a federal appeals court reinstated litigation filed by a former staffing agency employee who was terminated while she was on Family Medical Leave Act leave because of her pregnancy and allegedly replaced her with a lower-salaried worker.
Insurance broker Brown & Brown Inc. has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year, the agency said Wednesday.