Rocco’s Pub, a Jasper, Ga., restaurant and bar operated by Ciorrocco’s, Inc., will pay $15,500 to settle a pregnancy discrimination charge brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced Tuesday.
The EEOC filed suit in August 2018, charging that Rocco’s Pub violated federal law when its owner demoted a pregnant employee from a bartender position to a lower-paying server position, even though her pregnancy did not affect her ability to perform the job of bartender.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The EEOC filed suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ciorrocco’s, Inc. d/b/a Rocco’s Pub, Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-00133-RWS-JCF) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Gainesville Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree settling the suit was signed by the court on Dec.15. In addition to the monetary relief, Rocco’s Pub agreed to create and implement an equal employment opportunity policy, provide employment discrimination training to its management and non-management employees, and post anti-discrimination notices at its restaurant. In addition, the decree subjects Rocco’s Pub to reporting and monitoring requirements.
“The EEOC takes pregnancy discrimination seriously and will continue to protect the rights of expecting employees,” said Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, district director for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office.
Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office, added, “A pregnant woman’s physical appearance alone is never a sufficient reason for taking an adverse employment action against her and depriving her of income. The agency is pleased that Rocco’s Pub agreed to resolve this case and to implement policies and further train its employees on its obligations under Title VII. The employee in this case has been compensated and the employer will be better equipped to respond the next time an applicant or employee becomes pregnant.”
The EEOC’s Atlanta District Office oversees Georgia and parts of South Carolina.
Information from Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.