Woman awarded $75,000 after being fired from her job just because she got pregnantBy Mason White 3:36 PM June 2, 2015
|Pregnant woman illustration|
By: Tanya Malhotra
(Scroll down for video) A woman in Houston, Texas, was devastated after her employer fired her from her job because she became pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said.
Now, A federal judge has awarded the woman almost $75,000 in back pay and damages, following a decision finding United Bible Fellowship Ministries, Inc. liable for pregnancy discrimination.
The award resulted from a lawsuit filed by the EEOC against the non-profit organization, which provides housing and residential care to clients with disabilities.
The lawsuit charged that United Bible violated federal law by enforcing an unlawful no pregnancy in the workplace policy, which prohibited the continued employment of anyone who became pregnant.
The policy further refused employment to any pregnant applicant who sought a resource technician position. United Bible implemented that policy by firing Sharmira Johnson, a resource technician who provided care to residents.
The organization admitted that Johnson had performed her job well and had no medical restrictions or any other impediment in her ability to carry out her job functions, and that it had terminated her solely because she became pregnant.
Following a trial, Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore awarded Johnson $24,764 in back pay and overtime with interest, plus out-of-pocket costs.
The court also found that Johnson had suffered emotional pain and suffering, and mental anguish as a result of United Bible’s actions, and that the employer had acted with malice or reckless indifference to her federally protected rights.
Based on those findings, the court awarded her $50,000 in punitive damages.