The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Wednesday it is suing PruittHealth-Raleigh for refusing to accommodate the pregnancy-related work restrictions of a certified nursing assistant who was later forced to resign.
The case is strikingly similar to another, also in North Carolina, brought by the EEOC last month. That suit involves two pregnant CNAs who worked at Scottish Pines Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Laurinburg, NC.
In the commission’s latest challenge, PruittHealth is accused of offering light duty or job modifications to injured CNAs but not to a pregnant worker limited to lifting 20 pounds. The EEOC says that in October 2016, the company refused to accommodate CNA Dominique Codrington. Instead, the company’s assistant director of nursing and a human resources representative forced Codrington to either resign or be fired.
Messages left by McKnight’s for two PruittHealth officials Tuesday were not returned by production deadline.
The EEOC said in a press release Tuesday, that the company had lifting devices and transfer belts available to help lift patients and did not prohibit CNAs from seeking the assistance of co-workers to lift patients manually. The EEOC argues that the refusal to accommodate Codrington was a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The commission is seeking injunctive relief, including policy changes, as well as back pay and damages for Codrington.