EEOC Sues Restaurant For Pregnancy Bias, Hospital For Religious Bias

February 19, 2018

In unrelated actions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued a California restaurant for firing a female employee after learning of her pregnancy and a Michigan hospital for religious bias against a medical transcriptionist for her religious objections to a flu shot.

Maurizio's Trattoria Italiana, LLC, a fine-dining Italian restaurant near San Diego, allegedly discriminated against and fired a female employee after learning of her pregnancy. A server who worked at the restaurant notified the owner of her pregnancy, after which the restaurant allegedly scheduled her to work fewer hours, resulting in much less pay, refused to return her to her server position after she gave birth, and finally fired her. The EEOC's suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for the female employee, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination.

Memorial Healthcare, a health care provider in Owosso, Michigan, unlawfully rescinded a job offer because of the applicant's need for a religious accommodation. According to the EEOC's suit, Memorial Healthcare revoked its employment offer to a medical transcriptionist due to her religious objection to an influenza shot or spray. The hospital denied the job to the transcriptionist, who would eventually be working from home, even though she offered to wear a mask, and the employer had a policy authorizing the use of masks for those who could not take a vaccine. The EEOC is seeking an injunction to prohibit the company from engaging in this type of discrimination in the future, as well as monetary relief on the behalf of the victim.