Monday, August 10, 2015

Woman alleges Penn's withdrew job offer because she was pregnant.

A Pearl woman sued Penn's Fish House, Inc. for discrimination based on sex and pregnancy last week in U.S. District Court.  Amanda Eady claimed she was hired by Penn's but fired before she started work when the company learned she was pregnant.


Ms. Eady applied for a job as a graphic design artist at Penn's and interviewed for the job on April 8, 2014.  The company allegedly called her nearly an hour later and offered her the job.  Ms. Eady accepted the offer and gave her two-week's notice to her current employer.  She would be paid $15, an increase in pay from her previous job.  



The complaint states that Ms. Eady stopped by the company on April 11 to inform it that she could begin work on April 23 but allegedly made the mistake of mentioning that she was pregnant.  She claims the company caller her later that day and rescinded the job offer.  She was then unable to obtain her previous job as it was already filled.  She was five months pregnant and found a job at Gigig's Cupcakes but was paid only $8.50 per hour and was forced to "stand on her feet eight hours per day".  She quit when she became thirty weeks pregnant as her doctor ordered her to be on bed rest.  The complaint states that Ms. Eady has been unemployed since she left Gigi's. 

Ms. Eady filed a complaint with the EEOC on April 17, 2014. The EEOC gave her permission to sue Penn's.  She seeks lost wages and benefits for the time period after the company withdrew the offer, punitive damages, and attorney's fees. 

59 comments:

pittpanther said...

This crap being pulled by Penns is why women are counseled never to mention pregnancy until you're going leave.

Did she have the job offer and acceptance in writing?

It's In The Bag! said...

"They always bitin' over here at Penn's!"

Dumb asses.

Take It To The Bank said...

1:22; There's no reason to mention pregnancy AT ALL, at any time. The FMLA does not require or suggest that an employee give the employer any medical reason for applying for leave. And the employer can NOT inquire as to the medical condition. Nor does the doctor have to state the specific reason on the paperwork.

Since the EEOC has already 'granted the right to sue', one can assume that the investigation has wrapped up and that the employer gave an inappropriate response or offered none at all. Penn's is in a shit load of hot grease over this one.

Anonymous said...

"This crap being pulled by..." I'm not sure if you are aware of it or not. But, based on my personal experience, the frequency of baseless employment suits is far more than the frequency of employment suits based on the truth. I don't know if Penn's did it or not. But, I wouldn't assume they did based on someone suing them.

Anonymous said...

I am not an fmla expert by any means, but from what I understand with my experience with fmla- you have to be employed full time for at least a year to qualify for fmla.

So even if she hadn't told them and started work then took off in 4 months to have the baby, they wouldn't have been legally required to hold her job for her bc she wouldn't have qualified for fmla.

Anonymous said...

The "right to sue" from the EEOC is meaningless and is simply a step in the process. EEOC is just getting it out of their office. They could have looked at it, laughed it off, told her it was garbage, and would still issue her a "right to sue" notice. I've seen more cases dismissed that started with a "right to sue" notice than probably any other category of cases.

Defended a case one time for wrongful termination in south MS. Plaintiff told wild stories of harassment and retaliation. She also passed out 4 times during her video-taped deposition. We got summary judgment because Gex ruled ruled there was no way a jury would ever believe her version of the facts. She had a right to sue letter.

Anonymous said...

Why would a restaurant have the need for a full time graphic designer??? this sounds fishy to me...

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what Penn's did wrong

Anonymous said...

Hey, 1:41, drop the plaintiff's lawyer bullshit. EEOC issues right to sue letters when their investigation reveals that there may be a valid claim, but it is not so clear cut and obvious that the EEOC is willing to file suit itself. So take your shitload of hot grease somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to point out a couple of things:

1. You aren't eligible for FMLA until you've worked 1250 hours AND 12 months.

2. A right to sue letter from the EEOC means they aren't suing on your behalf, not that you have a case.

But Penns is definitely in the wrong.

Anonymous said...

Just imagine all the millions of dollars of suffering this poor fetus went through.

Anonymous said...

Pregnancy discrimination is against the law. Has nothing to do with FMLA.

Anonymous said...

Woman could have saved herself a lot of trouble by following this one simple trick. Go to www.keepyourmouthclosed.com to find out.

Anonymous said...

If an employer needs an employee who can work full time, and they have the choice of choosing one who will have to take off at least monthly for doctors appointments, weekly at some point, and then will likely have to take off a minimum of 6 weeks (as that's the earliest babies can get shots and attend daycare), or choosing someone who has no immediate plans to take off for extended periods of time then why is the employer wrong for choosing the non pregnant person?

and if a woman takes a job knowing she's 5 months pregnant and doesn't disclose that to her employer, she really shouldn't be surprised when the employer is mad about it.

Anonymous said...

3:49 voted for McDaniel. Guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

@3:49 Against the law is still against the law! And I suppose you don't believe in hiring women because they have children or might become pregnant. And don't hire anyone over 40... no telling what health problems they might have. And you definitely wouldn't hire a minority. We won't even discuss that one! And forget about hiring anyone serving in the National Guard. Such a headache having to put up with their schedules!! And only hire atheist so you don't have to worry about religious issues. And you're just buying major medical insurance increases if you hire anyone with any sort of handicap. Yep...screw the laws!!

(good thing your employer doesn't discriminate against idiots!)

Anonymous said...


Employee bullshit lawsuits hurt hiring more than any other reason.

An employer is not responsible for all of your f--g problems.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I remember the days when people believed businesses were in business to make money. Thank goodness things were changed to reveal the REAL reason businesses exist: to employ people. Businesses shouldn't exist to be profitable, they should exist to create jobs! Whatever is good for the employees is how the business should be run!

Down with THE MAN!!!

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how many times I've recommended a woman (of childbearing age) for a job and based on resume, experience, ect. she's more than qualified- only to be told that they'd rather go with a man because she'll quit or want to go part time once she has kids.

It's not fair but it's the world we live in.

Take It To The Bank said...

Although the EEOC is largely a waste of taxpayer dollars, their 'right to sue letter' is not 'meaningless'. In many circumstances, having filed with the EEOC is a prerequisite to filing a federal discrimination lawsuit.

The comment about not revealing pregnancy in the event of FMLA applies to any situation. No employee is EVER required to reveal a medical condition to an employer. This applies whether applying for FMLA, submitting a work application, asking for a day off or just satisfying the ego of a dunce like is represented at 3:49. The same applies to hemorrhoids, prostate problems and jock itch. It need not be revealed and the employer has no right to inquire. Sorry, Neanderthal, it's the law.

Somebody at Penn's has a faceful of tartar sauce right about now.

Anonymous said...

Easy to see now how Stanley Alexander got beat so bad. The number of posts about a pregnant worker at Penn's gets twice as many comments as the article about Hinds Elections AND the one about JPS and Stallworth.

Anny said...

I am a woman of childbearing age and (although childless for the time being) have seen first hand how many times mothers have been able to go home early, take extra days off, and call in sick while posting pictures of pool days with their kids while I'm left cleaning up their messes and doing their jobs. It's annoying and could definitely see why a business wouldn't want to hire someone who was about to be off for long periods of time. Had you held the job for a reasonable period of time then become pregnant and get fired, yes... Not right. However-why would someone want to hire you knowing that you'll be off all the time when they could hire someone who they know would actually show up for work?

Anonymous said...

@ 5:02 - yes, businesses are just employment agencies in the eyes of the law these days. What is in the best interests of the business is not relevant, or even allowed to be considered.

Anonymous said...

A good female graphic design artist ought to be able to spit out a design or two during childbirth, just axe Trump.

Anonymous said...

Extremely pertinent comment @ 7:12 PM to clear Kingfish.

Anonymous said...

So, to review: the state's interest in promoting procreation and childbirth ..

(1) is enough to make abortion practically unobtainable; but

(2) not enough to prohibit refusing to hire a lady because she's pregnant.

Makes total sense, folks. No need for you to live according to so-called "principles."

Anonymous said...

Actually 7:12 is a wake up call to kingfish. Nobody really cares about jackson or hinds county anymore.

Anonymous said...

@8:42- don't you remember how Phil said that working moms are the reason the kids are dumb? He thinks women should be home in the kitchen and reading to the kids all day, and leave those wage earning jobs to the men folk.

Anonymous said...

All I really want to know is who actually believes penns needs a $15/hr graphic designer? They've had the same menus, logos, cups and T-shirts forever.

This is just like the education funding argument using it's for the kids approach. Let's use the I'm pregnant card to win some BS trumped up lawsuit.

As for EEOC they came to my previous employer and MADE us promote more minorities into management, didn't matter their skill or knowledge just skin color. And now 2 of the 3 are no longer with them. It was a performance based company and if your numbers are good your gone.

Enough is enough. Were us the tort reform?

Anonymous said...

Undergraduate degree in journalism. Master's degree in graphic design. Was working as a retail manager. Hired for $15/hour and let go before she started. Back to retail selling cupcakes for $8.50 per hour.

Moral of the story.....give far more thought to your choice of a college major. Six years of schooling and undoubtedly thousands in student loans....only to reach $15/hour with a child on the way?

Anonymous said...

As someone said, this is a Pregnancy Disc case. Recent EEOC settlements by Jxn office were both @ $20,000 at Reed Pierces in Byram and a hotel in Batesville. Maybe Penn's also offered 20K and it was turned down.

On to FMLA - see Form WH 380 (Revised May 2015), Q-4 for the physician to complete: "Describe other relevant medical facts, if any, related to the condition for which the employee seeks leave(such medical facts may include symptoms, diagnosis, or any regimen of continuing treatment such as the use of specialized equipment)"

Seems a dr. can provide the symptoms and diagnosis, from which one may obtain the specific med. condition of the employee.

We Don't Need No Women Round Here said...

12:07; Having worked in HR for decades, I can assure you that neither the employee nor the doctor is required (or asked) to state the specific condition that warrants an application/recommendation for FMLA. The form asks for relevant medical facts and regimen, etc. This is the doctor's chance to say, for example: "Employee cannot stand on her feet for any period of time beyond 20 minutes, needs bedrest intermittently during the day and cannot perform the duties of the job beyond August 18th of this year". Although many doctors and some employees do include a diagnosis in their paperwork/application, it is not required. And the employer, dunces included, cannot get away with asking, "What's wrong with you girl?" And the EEOC (the agency which regrettably enforces the FMLA) will never find that the doctor or employee failed to reveal a diagnosis. Simply put, it ain't none of the employer's (or your) business what the medical diagnosis is.

On the other hand, in a doctor's request for work accommodation due to a disability (pregnancy is not considered a disability under D.O.L. standards), the doctor does have to cover specifically what there is that makes the employee unable to perform the duties of the job and should always recommend alternatives to duties, schedules, routines, etc. Accommodation is a legal term associated with ADA, not FMLA.

For better or for worse (more often than not, worse) we have federal labor and employment laws that we have all go to pay attention to (and suffer the ills of).

And for the chatterbox who claims his employer was 'made to promote minorities regardless of ability, etc', you are poorly informed. It sometimes does seem that way, but that's incorrect.

Anonymous said...

I understand the pregnancy discrimination and state law claims, but I don't understand the theory behind the constitutional claims. To pursue those claims under 1983 there must be an public employer. Penn's is a private employer. So that claim just does not make sense.

Anonymous said...

"Simply put, it ain't none of the employer's (or your) business what the medical diagnosis is. "

Correct. I have completed numerous forms over the years listing various restrictions (can't return until a certain a date; can't lift more than a certain weight, etc) but I have never listed a diagnosis (for the reason listed above) and no patient has ever had trouble with their employer when they returned to work with their form.

Anonymous said...

8:28 and a few others like you seem rather smug in your ability to help 'hide' commonsense revelations.

Anonymous said...

Really makes employers feel good (NOT) to realize shortly after they hired someone that the person was sneaky/dishonest... and now you can't get rid of them. No trust in that person going forward... have to know they would hide anything in the workplace.

Anonymous said...

7:57 - that 1983 claim was probably on the form the lawyers were cutting & pasting into.

Anonymous said...

Over the past 50 years this country has continued to make up more and more rules to hurt small businesses. ALL of this stuff about you cannot fire someone for being too old, a woman, black, green, fat, whatever is BS. The trump card is that every day the sun comes up the employee is free to quit his job and go to work elsewhere. It used to be that that worked both ways. The country has gotten weaker and weaker as a result of these changes. The law should be - if you own the business you put your money on the line for the success of that business and you can hire and fire whoever, whenever, just like they can quit whenever they want to. There is no doubt that in the past this woman's failure to disclose this pertinent medical condition would have been considered a breech of trust that would have been grounds for termination. Even if the law protects you and allows you to conceal this fact, your are breaking trust with your future employer and forcing him to distrust you from the beginning. You are saying to that business owner - I only care about me, not about your business at all. It may be legal but it is not smart. You may get the job, but you are almost guaranteed to be terminated as soon as the employer thinks he can legally do so.

Anonymous said...

"8:28 and a few others like you seem rather smug in your ability to help 'hide' commonsense revelations. "

Gee - why do I get the feeling you are neither licensed or qualified to practice law or medicine?

I practice medicine, and I pay for (and take) sound legal advice. My physician/patient relationships are between me and each patient, unless there is a court order presented to me. I didn't see any mention that Penn's got such an order in the case under discussion.

Privacy IS important to some of us, and there are legal consequences for violating that principle. I fill out the forms as prescribed by law, and give the employer they are entitled to under the law. You got a problem with that - change the law.

Anonymous said...

12:21 Mississippi is a right to work state. Unless someone has a contract (union or otherwise) they people can be terminated at any time for any or no reason (excepting certain violations of civil rights, which no employer would be stupid enough to put in writing).

Anonymous said...

1:54, you can fire someone for being green or fat, or for having poor hygiene, an ugly car, or for being an Auburn fan. You just can't fire them if they're in a protected class. That's because people spent the early 2/3 of the 20th century firing otherwise qualified people for being black, or old, or a woman or handicapped. Those are horrible reasons to fire people that hurt our economy and society. The laws are good laws. Get over it or move somewhere else where you can fire people because they're old. Let's see how long you make it.

Anonymous said...

"Undergraduate degree in journalism. Master's degree in graphic design. Was working as a retail manager. Hired for $15/hour and let go before she started. Back to retail selling cupcakes for $8.50 per hour. Moral of the story.....give far more thought to your choice of a college major. Six years of schooling and undoubtedly thousands in student loans....only to reach $15/hour with a child on the way?"
August 10, 2015 at 10:14 PM

Actually, those are great degrees for a pretty girl who can't go beyond college-level Math 100, and who "can't stand the sight of blood!!!!!!!" In other words, for a pretty, perky, little daddy's princess, who doesn't want to be a nurse, such a degree combination offers reasonable chances of a comfortable, prestigious career, or, alternately, being able to call yourself something, while pretending to have a career (while living off your husband).

Such degrees can be had locally, from value-priced institutions. No school loans ought to be necessary. You can work part-time. You can go to school part-time. You can get in a semester whenever you have the money. It's not like Law, Architecture, or Medicine, where you're in the program, swimming frantically to keep your head above water, and frequently can't opt in and out of the program/internship requirements... all the complicated stuff that makes your life an absolute hell, until you're licensed/certified.

In this case, I'm guessing Miss Prettygirl was hired because she went to somebody's church, and they thought she was a nice kid they could "give a chance", by making a job for her.

Anonymous said...

2:42 the problem with your 'logic' is that if I fire someone for being old or black or whatever and they are actually a productive worker, my competitor hires them and has an advantage over me. Those of us who have actually owned businesses know that profits are too small to justify firing good workers. Many times, or most times, when someone claims discrimination there was a sound business reason for the termination. Think of all the reasons someone might choose to accept one job over another - pay, benefits, working conditions, sure. How about - it is near my husband's work place and we can carpool. They let me wear jeans to work. They let me off early on Fridays to ride the band bus to football games and see my kid play. The boss is nice. The co workers are nice. You could go on and on and on. Many, many good reasons to choose one job over another. The exact same thing happens on the other side. Many, many, good reasons to prefer one worker over another and they don't all fit neatly into a government box. I understand that it is the law, but is also government interference into a private business.

Anonymous said...

So if I fall...just hold me.....like the flowers in the ocean....they are whispering to me.

http://thesoundandthefury2.bandcamp.com/track/flowers-in-the-ocean

Anonymous said...

As a 60 year old my expectation is that I would never be hired over a 40 year old unless I was hands down the better candidate. The Government rules force the employer not to tell me this, but that does not change the fact that it is just good business and common sense.
Likewise, if you had two equal candidates except that one was going to have a baby, or open heart surgery, you are going to hire the one that is best for your business. You have to do it to survive. That is what your competition is doing.

Anonymous said...

To the smart ass at 2:03

You're right.

I'm just an employer.

Anonymous said...

I have been running a small business (less than 50 employees, but more than 25) for over 40 years and I have never fired a good employee. On my last battle with the government regarding an alleged wrongful discharge, when asked about why I fired so-in-so, my response was the so-in-so was not a good employee. The hearing officer's response was that he had never heard that reason before. I ultimately prevailed (fired for being drunk on the job). There is a big difference between signing the front and back of a payroll check.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of this "poor me I am an oppressed woman" crap. Stay at home and raise your effing kids. Quit dumping them on the world to rear.

Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers will be the ruination of this country, they've already done a lot. You have to watch your back continually to make sure you dont get popped with an outlandish penatly for something petty. Why doesnt an attorney's office hire her and "do the right thing" and pay her while she's at home. I'll bet a large sum none, not one attorneys office would hire her for clerical work with her being pregnant.

And I agree, something sounds fishy(no pun intended). An inhouse on payroll graphic designer, for Penns? It would have been much more economical to hire that out to a firm. I smell a setup.

Anonymous said...

"To the smart ass at 2:03

You're right.

I'm just an employer. "

Yes, and the same laws apply to you and me both. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Once I fired a worker who tired to collect unemployment insurance. At the hearing, when I was asked why the person was terminated I said 'He did not do enough work.' This did not seem to resonate with the bureaucrat who was running the hearing. I had to repeat myself and then add he was warned - 'If you have another gear you need to get into it. What you are doing now is not satisfactory'. In the end I prevailed, but not before I had to argue with the bureaucrat (government worker) that not producing enough work was a legitimate reason for firing someone.

I fired one guy who mistakenly thought that someone had to catch him not working in order to fire him. He learned a valuable lesson. He was given a very simple task - sweep the floor of a very large area. We had no trouble determining how long it should take to sweep that floor. When his rate of production was nowhere near what it should have been he was terminated. He thought someone had to catch him in the act of not working. I hope he has made someone a better employee because of that lesson he should have learned.

Anonymous said...

3:05, I'm not espousing logic. I'm telling you what the law says. And I'm saying it's right. You can have any reason you want to fire someone, that reason just can't be because they are in a protected class. You can fire an old person because she smells, or a foreigner because he's lazy, or a black person because she's too loud, or a handicapped person because he can't make it to work 2 days each week, or a pregnant person because she has temper tantrums.

3:41, you demonstrate that the law works since it was enacted 50 years ago. The problems were occurring up to that point that justified the protections.

Not that it changes anything, but I sign the front of checks every 2 weeks, and, occasionally, I get to sign one on both sides.

Anonymous said...

Amen 3:55. I love *logic* and truth.

Fire Who The Hell You Want To said...

At 4:26; The Hearing Officer (government employee) doesn't care why you fire a worker. He/She (government employee) does, however, need to hear from you that a policy you have in place was or was not followed, the employee knew of the policy, your expectations were clear, an adequate method of correction was in place, the employee had time to learn the policy and you have discharged (or not) under similar situations in similar circumstances and that the reason you state to him/her (government employee) is not in violation of federal labor law. (there are no state labor laws here as we do not have a State Department of Labor).

'He was not a good employee' is a bullshit reason, under the regulations of the past forty years, to terminate an employee and have it stand scrutiny. If you don't care about that, fire away. You do, however, in certain cases risk more than simply a hit on your UI Tax Rate. You risk a lawsuit in some cases.

Long story short: Hire and fire who the hell you want to. Just understand you don't write the employment laws and your business might suffer the consequences.

Anonymous said...

4:30 you say this law is right, but by what measure ?
Since the civil rights act was passed, 1964, the ratio of unemployment of blacks vs whites has stayed at about 2x or more. It is as high today as it was in 1964. The ratio of earnings white/back is higher now than it was.
I can see two laws that were passed to help minorities that might actually hurt them.
One is they keep raising the minimum wage and saying this helps the poor. But it actually causes disproportionate unemployment among young people with few skills and experience. That is, if you make McDonald's pay $15/hr a 16 year old black kid with no work history has no chance of getting that job.
The second way it hurts them is if I hire someone who is 'protected' by the government and later have to fire them, I may have good reason to fire them but I also run the risk of a lawsuit. So I have to go to extreme measures and spend extra money to document everything beforehand. Even if I win the lawsuit, the very fact that I have to pay for my defense means I have lost. If candidates are roughly equal, it is less risky to hire someone who is not protected. In that way the law that is supposed to protect someone actually hurts them.

Nuthatch Alert said...

Bloviate all you want to about theory and opinion and what used to be and what you wished was still in place. We have employment law and we have labor law (union) and all the personal opinion to the contrary is simply wasted breath.

Anonymous said...

I understand that the law is the law, what ever it may be, but I've also been told Mississippi is an "At Will State" and an employer can terminate for any reason and they dont have to tell you why.

Anonymous said...

well, as far as I am concerned I don't want some fat (pregnant) chick waddling up to my table enquiring about sweet tea vs unsweet tea while I am consuming vast amounts of fried fish. Is there no sanity left?

Anonymous said...

9:03 There are exceptions, including any violation of an employee's civil rights.

The smartest thing is to say "Revenue isn't what I need to keep this business open, so I have to let somebody go. Unfortunately that person is you."

Then shut up. Don't say anything about their age, race, religion, sexual preference, medical conditions, etc. Any of them will get you sued, and you will probably lose.

Three managers at a Lowe's in another state got canned yesterday for agreeing to a customer's request to only allow a white driver deliver whatever she had ordered.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
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