Bob Evans Farms LLC cut the work hours of an employee at its West Mifflin restaurant because she was pregnant, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims in a lawsuit it filed Wednesday against the company.
The EEOC says in the lawsuit that it’s been unable to work out an agreement with the company. A company spokesman declined comment.
An agency spokesman said the employee, who had worked at the restaurant for five years, should have been allowed to keep earning a living for herself and her family.
“Reducing the hours or pay of an employee because of speculative fears about her pregnancy is illegal sex discrimination,” said EEOC Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis Jr.
Hayley Macioce was about six months pregnant in July 2014 when her manager asked her about her plans to take pregnancy leave. Macioce had no medical restrictions and told her manager she planned to work until her delivery date, the lawsuit says.
Instead of letting her work her normal hours, the manager “drastically reduced” her hours for the next three months, causing her to lose pay, the lawsuit says.
The EEOC is seeking an injunction that would ban the New Albany, Ohio, company from discriminating against pregnant employees, require it to provide training on pregnancy discrimination, and pay Macioce compensatory and punitive damages.