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EEOC Sues Restaurant Maurizio’s Trattoria Italiana for Pregnancy Discrimination

Restaurant Discriminated Against and Fired Female Employee After Learning She Was Pregnant, Federal Agency Charges

Maurizio's Trattoria Italiana, LLC, a fine-dining Italian restaurant in Encinitas near San Diego, violated federal law when it discriminated and fired a female employee after learning of her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a recently filed pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, an employee who worked at Maurizio's Trattoria Italiana notified the owner of her pregnancy. The EEOC contends that the restaurant subsequently discriminated against her by scheduling her to work fewer hours, resulting in much less pay, refusing to return her to her server position after she gave birth, and finally firing her.

Such alleged conduct 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 Southern District of California (EEOC v. Maurizio Trattoria Italiana, LLC, Case No. 3:18-cv-00338-MMA-BLM) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC's suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for the female employee, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination at the business.

"Pregnancy discrimination remains an ongoing problem in our nation's workplaces," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes San Diego County. "Employers are encouraged to evaluate their obligations under Title VII relating to employees who are pregnant."

Christopher Green, director of the EEOC's San Diego Local Office, added, "Women should not have to choose between their job or having children. Employers need to be aware that the EEOC takes pregnancy discrimination seriously and will continue to protect the rights of pregnant employees."

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.