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EEOC sues Texas sports bar for pregnancy discrimination

Off the Air, II, Inc. is a sports bar based in Rowlett, Texas which operates under the name Nick’s Sports Grill. Bartender Taylor King had a successful tenure at the bar. However, when she became pregnant and could no longer fit into the skin-tight company uniform—a form-fitting shirt and hot pants—the company let her go.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against the company on King’s behalf. The suit cited pregnancy discrimination—which employees are federally protected from under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. While it is legal for a business to enforce an immodest dress code, firing an employee who can no longer wear the uniform due to pregnancy is a form of sex discrimination.

The defendant reached a settlement with the EEOC. Under the terms of the agreement, the defendant must:

  • Pay $24,000 to King
  • Not engage in discriminatory conduct in the workplace
  • Not engage in retaliation against employees who complain about such behavior
  • Notify the EEOC of any discrimination complaints received over the next three years
  • Train all employees annually on discrimination—including pregnancy discrimination
  • Distribute relevant sections of the employee handbook to all employees
  • Take disciplinary action against anyone in a leadership role who engages in, or allows, sex-based discrimination in the workplace
  • Notify all employees about the company’s settling agreement with the EEOC

The above case serves as a firm reminder that the law aggressively protects pregnant women’s rights in the workplace. If you believe you’ve suffered from pregnancy discrimination, it’s worthwhile to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to understand your rights and your opportunity for compensation.

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