San Antonio, Texas-based Nix Hospitals System LLC, doing business as Nix Healthcare System, has agreed to pay $40,000 to settle a federal pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that Nix Hospital violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), by refusing to accommodate the employee’s pregnancy-related medical restrictions, resulting in her termination.
According to the EEOC, the employee applied for two open desk positions which would have allowed her to work even with her medical restrictions, but Nix Hospital denied her such light-duty positions. Meanwhile, non-pregnant employees injured on the job with medical restrictions were granted light duty.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which is incorporated into Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, makes discrimination based on pregnancy a form of sex discrimination. Under the PDA, employers are prohibited from engaging in discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, including when employers refuse to accommodate a worker’s pregnancy-related medical conditions but do accommodate other workers similar in their ability or inability to work.
The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division (EEOC v. Nix Hospitals System, LLC d/b/a Nix Healthcare System, Civil Action Number 5:18-cv-01004) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to monetary recovery by the employee, the decree resolving this case and approved by U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez requires the hospital to post a notice of intent to comply with Title VII and to provide training to employees of their rights under federal law. The consent decree also requires the hospital to revise its policy to ensure that it prohibits pregnancy discrimination including the accommodation of pregnancy-related conditions.
Nix Healthcare is a provider of comprehensive medical services, including a full-service hospital and various medical facilities in San Antonio.
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