Merced County orchid grower: "Don't Get Pregnant or You're Fired"

A Merced County orchid grower will pay $110,000 and provide other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced Monday.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Dash Dream Plant, Inc. held staff meetings in which female employees were instructed not to get pregnant and that if a female employee became pregnant, she should consider herself fired. The lawsuit also alleged that female employees were not reinstated or rehired when they attempted to return to work after childbirth.

The EEOC says as part of the consent decree settling the suit, Dash Dream will pay $110,000 to at least two former employees who the EEOC alleges were subjected to the discriminatory treatment.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

The EEOC filed its lawsuit on September 20, 2016 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (EEOC v. Dash Dream Plant, Inc., Case No. 1:16-cv-01395-DAD-EPG) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

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