Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse Settles EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit
Hibachi-Style Restaurant Fired Server Because She Was Pregnant, Federal Agency Charged
Ichiban Japanese Restaurant, LLC, a hibachi-style restaurant doing business as Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse in Jackson, Mich., will pay $35,000 and commit to training its employees to resolve a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency recently announced.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, an employee who worked at the restaurant as a server and bartender was fired because she was pregnant.
Pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Michigan (EEOC v. Ichiban Japanese Restaurant, LLC, dba Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse, Case No. 2:17-cv-13164) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The three-year consent decree resolving this case requires the company to pay $30,000 to the employee who filed a complaint with the EEOC, and $2,500 each to two other women who the EEOC also determined had been harmed by Ichiban's personnel practices when they became pregnant while working for the company.
"Employers who fire employees because they are pregnant are violating federal law," said EEOC Trial Attorney Nedra Campbell. "Ichiban should be commended for agreeing to an early resolution of this case and committing to training its staff on pregnancy discrimination laws."
The restaurant company has other locations throughout southeastern Michigan.
The EEOC's Detroit Field Office is part of the Indianapolis District Office, which oversees Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and parts of Ohio.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.