Belly Up to the Bar: Saloon Fires Pregnant Waitress and Forks Over $66K to the EEOC

Maybe a pregnant woman doesn’t belong behind a bar serving alcoholic drinks to customers–but that’s for her to decide, not for the bar owner. That’s why Congress outlaws pregnancy discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Tell that to the Moonshine Whiskey Bar in Tempe, Arizona, whose owner, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, fired pregnant bartender Michelle Viscusi, because, he is reported to have said on an audiotape recording, “There’s going to be a whole number of people that I would be offending by allowing a pregnant person to be behind the bar. They might look at it as the owner’s a f—ing idiot they’re letting a girl that’s pregnant that could get injured behind the bar bartending right now. How irresponsible are those guys.”

EEOC said that the bar, a limited liability company, agreed to pay $66,000 and furnish other relief to settle the lawsuit.

Pregnancy discrimination is more prevalent than you may think. EEOC Phoenix Acting District Director Elizabeth Cadle pointed out that EEOC received 3,543 charges of pregnancy discrimination in fiscal year 2015 nationwide, which constituted about 4 percent of the 89,385 charges the agency received that year.

Read more about the lawsuit and settlement here.


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