9/23/2013 By BLR® —Business & Legal Resources
Platinum PTS Inc., a Laredo-based oil and gas exploration and development company, has agreed to pay $100,000 to a clerk who was fired after she requested time off for medical treatment to address a miscarriage, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced. The employee filed a companion lawsuit against Texans Oil and Gas Services, a related company owned and managed by Platinum’s president.
According to David Rivela, senior trial attorney in EEOC’s San Antonio field office, Platinum admitted in a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission that the company had hired the clerk believing she was unable to conceive because of a past history of not being able to have a baby. The letter stated, “When she got pregnant and got sick, after several days absent, and thinking she would have to stay home for some time, she was replaced after five days off or more.”
“This was one of the most flagrant examples of pregnancy discrimination I have ever seen,” Rivela said. “What happened to this woman is reprehensible and illegal. The EEOC is committed to fighting bias against pregnant women, and will seek vigorous enforcement of the laws against it.”
EEOC supervisory trial attorney Judith Taylor said, “It is unfortunate that more than a third of a century after the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers are still making decisions based on supposed fertility, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions. The law is clear—an employer cannot fire an employee because she got pregnant and then suffered complications.”
Contributed by BLR®—Business & Legal Resources. Read plain-English analysis on Maternity and Pregnancy in Texas.