Federal Judge Finds Discrimination On Basis of Pregnancy

A U.S. District court judge ordered Portland-based company Scribe X to pay $80,000 in lost wages and damages to Brittany Frisby, a woman who was offered a job at the company that was  then rescinded after they learned that she was pregnant. 

The suit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.  

According to the EEOC’s suit, Frisby was contacted by Scribe X’s founder and CEO, Warren Johnson, four days after she notified the company that she was pregnant and would need to utilize maternity leave in a few months. Johnson rescinded Frisby’s job offer over the phone, saying that they would not have hired her if they had known she was pregnant. The EEOC also notes that Scribe X failed to keep required records or notes about Frisby’s hiring process. 

The company has now signed onto a consent decree with the court, a stronger means of holding the company to the standards it failed to meet – keeping detailed records, and developing written non-discrimination guidelines and train its employees on them.  

Neither Frisby nor EEOC lawyers returned reporters’ requests for comment, though Frisby did note that she “just wants to close this chapter.” 

By Ian MacRonald