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Walgreens, a well-known retail giant, has agreed to pay $205,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over allegations of pregnancy and disability discrimination. The case was filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana and resulted in a consent decree requiring Walgreens to provide additional training to supervisors to prevent pregnancy discrimination in the future.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff alleged that she informed her supervisor of her pregnancy in October 2020. A few days later, the plaintiff told her supervisor that she was struggling with low blood sugar as a result of her pregnancy. The supervisor allegedly refused to allow the plaintiff to take a break to eat. Another supervisor demanded a doctor’s note stating “your restrictions and blood sugar issues . . . we need you at work so we can get ready for inventory or this will be job abandonment.” The plaintiff provided the requested doctor’s note. However, one of her supervisors told the plaintiff that she was not a good fit for Walgreens now that she was pregnant. She further stated that the plaintiff asked for “too many” accommodations.

Because Walgreens refused to accommodate her, the Plaintiff resigned. This is called a “constructive discharge“: when an employee is forced to quit, they can pursue a wrongful termination claim.

Walgreens settled the claim and voluntarily entered a “consent decree.” A consent decree is a legally-binding order requiring a party to implement certain changes or commitments. In this consent decree, Walgreens agreed to provide annual reports of all complaints of pregnancy discrimination in the district where the plaintiff worked, as well as certification of the employees who received mandated training on pregnancy discrimination. The consent decree also requires Walgreens to implement new anti-discrimination policies.


On the facts of the case, the EEOC’s settlement is a strong one and sends a clear message that preventing pregnancy discrimination is a priority. Constructive discharge cases often are challenging and can result in lower settlements than wrongful termination cases. (This is not always the case, but as a general rule, attorneys regard constructive discharge cases as riskier.) The plaintiff was a short-term employee and the discrimination was short-lived, though serious. These are factors that often weigh against enormous judgments and settlements.

Moreover, federal law imposes damages caps on the amount of damages a plaintiff can recover. For large employers, like Walgreens, the damages cap is $300,000. Yes, this is outrageous! No matter how egregious the discrimination or how much an employee was harmed, employers cannot be required to pay more than $300,000 for employment discrimination cases under federal law.

Fortunately, many states do not have damages caps. California and New York, where we practice, do not have damages caps for employment discrimination claims. This means that, when you have both state and federal claims, it is generally preferable to pursue state claims instead of federal ones.

Contact a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer Today

Our pregnancy discrimination attorneys are dedicated to defending the rights of pregnant women in the workplace. If you believe you are being harassed or discriminated against because of your pregnancy, you are not alone. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of pregnant workers in the same position as you. Contact us today for a free, no-risk case review.

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Julian Burns King graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and founded King & Siegel in 2018. As head of the Firm’s discrimination and harassment practice areas, she champions the rights of working parents and victims of workplace discrimination and harassment. She has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers annually since 2018 and has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of her clients.

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