A pregnancy-discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), against a Pittsburgh-area plastic-surgery office has settled The parties entered into a consent decree, which provides, in part, for payment of $75,000 to Erin Griggle, a former secretary at Premier Plastic Surgery, located in Cranberry, Pennsylvania.
Although no discrimination suit is built on accusations of niceties and cordialities, this case has some particularly harsh-sounding allegations. According to the complaint filed by the EEOC, a pregnant Ms. Griggle was told to “suck in her belly,” because if she didn’t, she would scare away patients who went to the facility to “look better.” She was later terminated because “she was not a good fit.” Then, when the center began the search for Griggle’s replacement, the center’s president was alleged to have asked if the candidate “had a uterus.”
As is standard in EEOC consent decrees, the defendant expressly denied any wrongdoing so we’ll likely never hear the center’s complete side of the story. But it does beg the question, do people really say things like this? If you ever hear an employee say anything even close to the statements allegedly made in this case–don’t delay. Act swiftly and effectively to stop the conduct and make absolutely clear that it will not be tolerated under any circumstance.