A sports bar in Rowlett, Texas will pay a $24,000 penalty for not allowing a pregnant bartender to wear capri pants and a long top instead of hot pants and tight shirt, federal officials say.
In addition to the fine, Off the Air II Inc., which does business as Nick’s Sports Grill, will provide other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.
According to the EEOC’s suit, the mandatory uniform at Nick’s Sports Grill consisted of a tight, body-hugging shirt and short hot pants. The suit alleges that when Taylor King, a bartender, started wearing capri pants instead of the usual hot pants uniform and added a second layer of clothes to the usual tight top because of her pregnancy, the general manager told her that the owner would not approve, and forced her off the job.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, Case No 3:16-CV-3328, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The three-year consent decree settling the suit, entered by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade on March 27, 2018, prohibits future discrimination and retaliation for complaining about it.
In addition to the monetary relief for King, the decree requires the company to disseminate specific parts of its employee handbook to all employees; provide annual training on pregnancy and other forms of discrimination; report all complaints of discrimination to the EEOC for the decree’s term; impose discipline up to termination on any manager who discriminates based on sex or permits such conduct to occur under his or her supervision; and post a notice on employee bulletin boards about the decree, explaining procedures for reporting discrimination.
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