The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) yesterday filed a pregnancy
discrimination lawsuit in federal district court against John Harvard's Brew
House, a restaurant and brewery business operating in nine states with a local
branch in Lake Grove, N.Y.
The EEOC's suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New
York, charges that John Harvard's Brew House discriminated against Jennifer
James once she informed its management that she was pregnant. James's career
had advanced from a starting position of server, to supervisor, and to manager-in-training.
However, as soon as she informed the company of her pregnancy, her career abruptly
ended, according to the EEOC.
The suit seeks monetary relief, an order requiring the company to implement
policies and procedures against discrimination, and a permanent injunction against
"The EEOC takes very seriously allegations of pregnancy discrimination,"
says Katherine Bissell, the EEOC's regional attorney in New York. "No employee
should ever be forced to choose between parenthood and a livelihood. The EEOC
will continue to vigorously pursue such cases."
The company denied the charges in the lawsuit.
"John Harvard's is deeply committed to providing equal advancement opportunities
to all our employees," Michael Hackney, the company's president, tells
Newsday. "Today's EEOC action is surprising, unfounded and factually flawed.
Jennifer James was never a manager in training. Her pregnancy played no role
in any company action regarding her employment or promotion."