Health Care Company Rescinded Job Offer Because She Was Pregnant, Federal Agency Charged
PHOENIX – A nationwide health care company headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., will pay $150,000 and furnish other relief to settle a lawsuit for pregnancy discrimination brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Community Care Health Network, LLC, d/b/a Matrix Medical Network, rescinded a job offer for a credentialing manager position to Patricia Andrews within a week of learning she was pregnant. The EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that Andrews was offered the position after a lengthy interview process that included her flying to Arizona twice for in-person interviews at Matrix Medical’s Scottsdale headquarters. The EEOC charged that within a week after learning she was pregnant, Matrix Medical accused Andrews of not informing the company she was pregnant during the interview process and then withdrew its job offer.
Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination that is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (EEOC v. Community Care Health Network, LLC, d/b/a Matrix Medical Network, Case No. 2:18-cv-03008-JTT) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree entered on August 7, 2019, prohibits Matrix Medical from discriminating on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, in the future. The decree requires Matrix Medical to pay $150,000 and issue a letter of apology to Andrews. The decree also requires the company to review and revise its equal employment opportunity policies, revise its personal leave-of-absence policy to include a provision that pregnant employees may take leave during their first six months of employment, and train its supervisors on Title VII and other anti-discrimination laws.
“Pregnancy discrimination remains a major barrier for women in the workforce,” said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “More than 40 years after the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers still choose not to hire pregnant applicants or to fire employees after learning they are pregnant. The EEOC will continue its efforts to ensure pregnant applicants and employees are able to work free from the threat of discrimination.”
Elizabeth Cadle, district director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, said, “We appreciate Matrix Medical’s cooperation in reaching an early resolution of this case and its commitment to instituting policies and training to ensure that employees’ rights are protected moving forward.”
The EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and part of New Mexico.
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.