Crooked Creek Investment Company, doing business as Crooked Creek & Creekside Bar & Grille in Saginaw, Mich., violated federal law when it refused to hire an applicant as a food server because she was pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed this week.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the job seeker had prior experience working in a restaurant.  She applied for a vacant food server position in February 2013.  Her first interview with Crooked Creek went well and she was asked to return for a second interview.  When she revealed her pregnancy during the second interview, however, Crooked Creek refused to consider her further for the job, the EEOC said.

Refusing to consider a woman for a job because she is pregnant violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.  The EEOC filed suit against Crooked Creek in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, after first attempting to settle the matter through its pre-litigation conciliation process.  The EEOC’s suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the applicant along with injunctive relief intended to prevent further instances of pregnancy discrimination.

“Women should not be forced to remove themselves from the labor market simply because they are pregnant,” said EEOC trial attorney Omar Weaver.  “The EEOC will vigorously enforce a pregnant woman’s right to be fairly considered for a job.”

As the EEOC ramps up its surveillance of pregnancy discrimination — often resulting in litigation — no company should go without our new Pregnancy Discrimination Prevention Program.