OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
11:23 AM – Friday, October 13, 2023
Dollar General reportedly fired an employee in Georgia after she informed her store manager that she was pregnant, according to allegations made by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a lawsuit.
The incident occurred on September 15, 2020, about a month after Calleigh Rutledge began working as a sales associate at a Dollar General store in Baldwin, located approximately 80 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia.
The EEOC filed the lawsuit in September 2022, claiming that Rutledge, who primarily worked as a cashier, had not requested pregnancy-related or maternity leave and had not indicated her inability to work due to her pregnancy.
According to the EEOC’s legal action, the sales associate was terminated immediately after disclosing her pregnancy to the store manager at Dollar General.
When she inquired about returning to work, the store manager questioned the safety of her working while pregnant. Despite the sales associate’s assurance that she could continue working, the manager refused to allow her to return.
Rutledge later received a separation notice citing “health reasons” as the cause for her termination. According to the EEOC, this conduct constitutes a breach of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The EEOC sought back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.
Dolgencorp, LLC, which operates under the name Dollar General as a nationwide retailer, has announced a settlement with the EEOC regarding the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.
The company will pay $42,500 and provide other remedies in response to the allegations.
In its response to the lawsuit, Dollar General acknowledged that Rutledge’s employment had been recorded as “voluntarily terminated” for health reasons on September 15, 2020, and confirmed that she had not worked any shifts beyond that date.
However, Dollar General contended that Rutledge was not subjected to differential treatment based on her pregnancy status.
“Dollar General asserts that there is no causal connection between Ms. Rutledge’s sex or alleged pregnancy, and any adverse employment action allegedly suffered by Ms. Rutledge,” Dollar General said in a statement.
In a consent order authorized by the judge on Wednesday, Dollar General agreed to pay $12,750 in back pay damages and $29,750 in compensatory damages as a resolution for the lawsuit.
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