A Los Angeles restaurant and jazz club will pay $82,500 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, federal regulators announced Monday.
According to the EEOC, La Louisanne violated federal law when it reduced the working hours of one if its servers after learning she was pregnant, eventually removing her from the schedule entirely.
The company then refused to allow her to return her to work after giving birth, according to the EEOC. The agency also alleged that other servers at the Cajun-themed nightspot at 5812 Overhill Drive in the Ladera Heights area experienced similar discrimination during their pregnancies, violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
A representative for the establishment could not immediately be reached for comment.
The EEOC filed suit in Los Angeles federal court after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process, according to the federal agency.
In addition to $82,500 for the victim and the establishment of a class fund, La Louisanne will retain an external EEOC monitor who will review and revise the company’s discrimination and harassment policies as necessary, regulators said.
The company will also provide training for all employees regarding discrimination and harassment. The EEOC will monitor compliance with the three-year consent decree.
“Stereotypes regarding pregnant employees still persist, particularly in the food industry,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District. “We commend La Louisanne for taking the necessary steps to create a more inclusive work environment for expectant employees.”