A pregnant employee at a Party City located in Texas was fired after she requested pregnancy and disability-related lifting restrictions. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is now suing the Rockaway-based company.
The suit, filed on March 7 in the United States District Court in Houston, alleges that Jahneiss Groce was advised by her employer “that Party City was unlikely to accommodate any formal request for an accommodation” for pregnancy complications caused by previous cervical cancer treatment.
After submitting a note from her doctor that called for light duty restrictions including “no lifting over 10 pounds and no climbing ladders,” the suit alleges that the benefits manager responded via letter with the following: “When your doctor releases you to return to work and, if you would like to return to work at Party City, you may apply for any open positions for which you are qualified.”
The suit alleges that Groce’s employer did not engage in discussions with her to determine if accommodations were possible and instead preemptively fired her because of her pregnancy-related conditions.
According to the EEOC, under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an employer can’t fire, refuse to hire, demote, or take any other adverse action against a woman due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
Per company policy, Party City told NJBIZ via email that it is unable to comment on matters of pending litigation.