NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A Louisiana restaurant is facing a lawsuit after violating a federal law under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Bourne’s House Restaurant in Franklinton, admitted to the discrimination violation after they fired and refused to rehire a female employee because she was pregnant.

On May 26, the restaurant and the EEOC resolved the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit through a consent
decree by a U.S. district court judge.

According to the lawsuit, in April 2019 a restaurant manager sent the woman a message through social media stating “I’m not gonna be able to hire you. I didn’t realize that you were expecting a baby,” and when the woman reapplied months later, the court said the business wrote “pregnant” on her application and didn’t rehire her .

The action is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits pregnancy-related discrimination. The lawsuit was filed after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process meaning that under the five-year decree, Bourne’s House, LLC will not only pay the woman $30,000 in damages, but also:

  • conduct training
  • revise policies
  • provide regular reports to the EEOC
  • post a notice that affirms its obligations under Title VII

“This is a significant outcome — the employer admitted that it violated the law to resolve the suit,” said Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Houston District Office. “The decree provides relief for the former employee and will help ensure that no employees will be subject to discrimination because they are pregnant. The court’s decree sends a clear message that pregnant workers are entitled to the same opportunities as all other workers.”

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