Dollar General fired store cashier because she was pregnant, regulators say

Dollar General fired store cashier because she was pregnant, regulators say

A Dollar General worker in Georgia was allegedly fired “immediately” after telling her store manager of her pregnancy, according to a lawsuit filed against the discount chain by the federal government.

The Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based retailer will pay $42,500 to settle the suit filed, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced this week. The Dollar General worker was fired right after telling her manager of her pregnancy in September of 2020, said the agency, which sued to obtain monetary damages on the fired worker’s behalf.  

When the sales associate spoke to her store manager about returning to her job, the manager wanted to know if it was safe for her to work while pregnant, the EEOC said Wednesday in a news release. Although the pregnant worker assured her manager that she could work, she was not allowed to return and later received a separation notice stating she was terminated for “health reasons,” regulators alleged.

statement announcing the legal action.

Dollar General, which operates 19,000 stores across the U.S., did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pregnancy discrimination is illegal, and the EEOC enforces three federal laws that protect job applicants and pregnant employees: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Under the PWFA, an employer must accommodate any job limitations a worker because of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. 

Before Congress passed legislation guaranteeing the right of workers not to be treated adversely due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, it was common for employers to exclude pregnant women from the workforce, according to the National Women’s Law Center. 

Twenty percent of mothers reported experiencing pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, a Morning Consult survey of 2,200 adults found last year.