According to this recent case, Amy Potts was pregnant and had just undergone a surgical procedure in April 2010 when she requested that she be permitted to lift no more than 25 pounds at the Landis Homes Retirement Community where she worked as a supervisor for eight years. The lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims that Potts was placed on unpaid, indefinite leave that day and then told to re-apply after she gave birth and was able to return to work without restrictions. When she did reapply in March of 2011, she was informed that she had been terminated effective the end of that month and would not be considered for the positions because they had not been informed that her lifting restriction had ended.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a press release stated that, “The Landis Homes Retirement Community failed to accommodate a pregnant nursing supervisor, terminated her because of her pregnancy and in retaliation for her reasonable accommodation request, and later refused to rehire because of her pregnancy and disability.” Spencer H. Lewis Jr., director of one of the EEOC’s offices stated that, “Fairness and federal law mandate that pregnant employees be treated the same as other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. In this case, the nursing home accommodated non-pregnant employees who had work restrictions, but treated Amy Potts differently because of her pregnancy. That is simply unjust and against the law.”
Larry Guengerich, spokesman for the nursing home’s parent organization, Landis Communities stated in an email that the company “does not discriminate against its employees in any way, shape or form.” He also stated that, “While we do not wish to comment on the specific allegations made by the EEOC at this time, we look forward to vigorously defending our position in court,” he wrote. “The EEOC has painted a picture that Landis intentionally seeks to deprive its employees the rights they are entitled to under law when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.”
According to the lawsuit, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission informed Landis Communities in April that it believed federal law had been violated and wanted to pursue a conciliation agreement. It indicated that effort was unsuccessful.
The lawsuit is seeking financial compensation for Potts and punitive damages as well as changes in the employment practices of the Landis Communities Company.
Cases similar to this one occur all too often. If you feel that you or someone you care about has been discriminated against in anyway at work, then it is important that you contact one of our caring and experienced employment and discrimination lawyers with the Higgins Firm. We will listen to your case, and help you to get any compensation you deserve for what you have been through. To make your consultation as fruitful as possible please be sure to have any relevant emails, texts, or other documentation that may support your claims. The more information we have the better we will be able to asses your case and the likelihood of success.