Stuck in the Mud: California Orchid Grower Denied Rehire to New Moms, EEOC Charges

Job dreams were dashed for new moms who wanted to return to work at a California orchid grower, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC charged in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday that Dash Dreams Plant, Inc., a grower and wholesale distributer of orchids in Dos Palos, Calif., violated federal law when it fired employees after failing to reinstate or rehire them at the end of their maternity leave.

Specifically, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, in 2014, female employees were told in staff meetings not to get pregnant, that they have too many children, and the next person to get pregnant should stay home and consider herself fired.

EEOC further asserted that pregnant employees were not reinstated or rehired when they attempted to return to work following the birth of their children but were discharged from the company.

“Employers need to be aware that pregnancy discrimination laws also protect employees after they have given birth,” said Melissa Barrios, director of EEOC’s Fresno office. Failing to reinstate an employee after maternity leave and discharging them can be a violation of the law.”

Here’s the EEOC’s announcement of the lawsuit.

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