Freidman Realty Group sued for pregnancy discrimination
New Jersey – Freidman Realty Group, Inc. is currently facing a federal lawsuit which alleges the real estate company discriminated against three women and firing them after they had become pregnant. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has filed a suit on behalf of the three women. EEOC District Director Kevin Berry stated: “It’s bad for society when an employer deprives hard-working women and their families of their livelihood because of pregnancy.”
According to the suit, Brianna Mazzella received praise and performance-based salary increases during her time with Friedman. However, things quickly changed when Mazzella told regional property manager that she was pregnant back in March of 2013. According to Mazzella, when Mazella reported her pregnancy the manager told Mazzella that “pregnancy makes you retarded” and “when women get pregnant they get stupid.” The manager then retaliated against Mazzella by assigning her new, more onerous tasks. Mazzella was also subjected to heightened scrutiny and discipline. The manager who made the discriminatory comments based on Mazzella’s pregnancy no longer works at Freidman, but before he left he made sure to tell Mazzella’s immediate supervisor “to get rid of” her before his exit. Mazzella was terminated by Friedman in August of 2013.
Alison Robovistky was a cleaner at Friedman’s Prospect Park location for nearly three years before when she became pregnant and informed that same manager of her pregnancy in early April of 2013. Robovistky had performed her job without incident. However, after she reported her pregnancy to management she was written up numerous times for poor performance and terminated three days later.
Lastly, Nicole Milano, a leasing consultant at Friedman’s Somers Point, N.J., facility was fired three months after disclosing her pregnancy. Milano had also received consistent praise before her termination.
Freidman’s actions constitute employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Law of 1964. Under Title VII, an employer is liable for employment discrimination when an employer makes job decisions based on a status protected by federal law. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amended Title VII to cover pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to pregnancy constitute sex discrimination under Title VII. Title VII covers many of the related medical conditions associated with pregnancy, including breastfeeding. Under federal law, an employer is required to provide a safe, clean and private area for a new mother to express her milk.
Freidman’s conduct creates a prima facie case of discrimination under Title VII. Under Title VII, when an employer predicates an employment decision on an employee’s pregnancy, they are liable for discrimination. By terminating Mazzella, Robovistky and Milano shortly after they disclosed to managers that they were pregnant, creates a plausible inference that they were terminated because of their pregnancy.
The New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC have years of experience working with the EEOC to litigate Title VII claims. Together with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, we have decades of experience litigating claims of sexual harassment and employment discrimination. If you feel you have been discriminated against based on your pregnancy, please give our talented attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.
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