Security Company Pays $375,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Charge
On November 13, 2020, the EEOC announced a $375,000 settlement on behalf of a pregnant security guard for Seattle-based Oatridge Security Group, Inc. Oatridge was also required to change its policies to protect pregnant workers by entering a "consent decree," meaning that the EEOC will monitor whether Oatridge is keeping its promises.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, "a supervisor at the Seattle Tunnel Project was terminated shortly after disclosing her pregnancy and the need for leave to her manager. The manager claimed that security work was not proper for a pregnant woman. The employee attempted multiple times to regain her job, but the company refused, the EEOC’s suit said. Thereafter, the employee filed an EEOC charge alleging discrimination, and the manager retaliated by telling her that she would never work for Oatridge again, according to the lawsuit."
Pregnancy Discrimination Against Security Guards and Law Enforcement
This is not the first pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against security companies. In fact, a surprising number of pregnancy discrimination lawsuits have been filed, and usually quietly settled, against companies that staff security guards and against law enforcement agencies. For example:
- In 2018, a security guard sued Simmons Security Protection for placing her on unpaid leave immediately after interrogating her about whether she was pregnant.
- In 2017, the ACLU sued on behalf of a pregnant police officer who was forced to take 7 months of unpaid leave because her supervisors did not want her to work while she was pregnant.
- In 2015, a security guard for the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department sued the County for pregnancy discrimination after she was investigated and terminated shortly after disclosing her pregnancy.
- In 2012, Quest Intelligence Group was sued for refusing to allow a female security guard to return to work after her maternity leave.
- In 2011, Durable Contract Services, Inc. settled a pregnancy discrimination suit filed after a pregnant worker was fired just a week after disclosing her pregnancy.
- In 2010, U.S. Security Associates was paid $80,000 for terminating a female security guard after she disclosed that she was pregnant.
These are just examples. We have been contacted by many security guards and law enforcement officers who report that they have had their hours cut; they have been denied accommodations like vests or equipment that fits them during their pregnancy; they have been forced to take leave because their working conditions were intolerable or their supervisors had outdated assumptions about what was "appropriate" for pregnant women; have been subjected to unwanted stares, comments, and hostility; and have even been wrongfully terminated.
Leading Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers in Los Angeles
We have obtained millions of dollars in settlements on behalf of pregnant workers and believe strongly in pregnant women's right to earn a living. The economic consequences of pregnancy discrimination can be catastrophic. We are here to help. Contact us today for a free case review with a top California pregnancy discrimination lawyer.