Mama Rosas Pizza in Evansville, Ind. charged with discrimination

INDIANAPOLIS – The Deputy Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Akia Haynes, announced today that there is probable cause to believe that Mama Rosas Pizza Express in Evansville, Indiana has committed an unlawful discriminatory practice as alleged by a former employee in violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law (Ind. Code § 22-9, et seq.)

By way of background, Respondent hired Complainant as a Pizza Maker in November 2013. During the course of her employment, evidence suggests that Complainant met Respondent’s legitimate business expectations; however, after notifying Respondent of her pregnancy, Respondent suspended her employment asserting that she would be unable to lift 25 pounds.

While Complainant provided medical documentation showing that she had no pregnancy related work restrictions, Respondent refused to permit her to work despite allowing a male employee to have a light duty work assignment while he recovered from a foot injury sustained outside of his employment. This is significant because under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act employers are obligated to treat pregnant employees the same as it would treat any other temporarily disabled employee.

Despite requests from the ICRC, Respondent has refused to tender an answer regarding these allegations. As such, and based upon the aforementioned, Complainant’s allegations assert a claim of discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and perceived disability.

A public hearing is necessary to determine whether a violation of the Indiana Fair Housing Act and the Indiana Civil Rights Law occurred. As permitted by 910 IAC 2-6-6(h), Respondents, Complainant, or an aggrieved person on whose behalf the Complaint is filed may elect to have the claims asserted in a civil action under Ind. Code § 22-9.5-6-12 in lieu of an administrative proceeding.

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.