Two employers charged with pregnancy discrimination

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) announced today that there is probable cause to believe two women, previously working for R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company of Warsaw, Ind. and Pizza King* in Elwood, Ind. respectively, were discriminated against because of their sex in violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law (Ind. Code § 22-9, et seq.). In each case the women were terminated because of their pregnancy.

R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company (Warsaw, Ind.)
By way of background, Complainant was hired by Respondent in August 2013 as a contingent material handler. Among her duties was to stack printed pages onto pallets and lift loads up to 50 pounds. In March 2014, Complainant, who was meeting Respondent’s legitimate business expectations, informed her supervisor that she was pregnant and having issues lifting the pallets and books. She then provided the Respondent a physician’s statement prohibiting her from lifting more than 20 pounds for 6 months. Later that month, her supervisor placed her on light duty assignment of operating the hand-feeding machine where she worked for two hours. However, later that evening, Respondent called Complainant into an office where Respondent informed her that she was terminated because they could not accommodate her restrictions.

Pizza King (Elwood, Ind.)
The Complainant applied for a position where she would be making pizzas, working the oven and performing prep duties with Respondent on or about November 5, 2013. On the day she completed the application the owner interviewed her. Respondent’s owner asked when she would be available to start and what her shirt size was. Additionally, he provided her a clock-in number, a start date and an employee packet. Shortly after that however, the Respondent’s owner called Complainant and asked whether she had any felonies or disabilities. Once it was found that the Complainant was pregnant the Respondent informed her that he could not hire her for “safety reasons”.

It is important to note that a finding of probable cause does not resolve a Civil Rights Complaint. Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Law has been violated. These laws provide remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.

*Important Note: The Pizza King restaurant in Elwood, Indiana is not owned and operated by Pizza King's corporate entity.

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana.