Exterminator Forced Pregnant Employee to Take Leave, then Fired Her

July 8, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Major exterminator Terminix International will pay $80,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.

The EEOC’s suit against Terminix International and its parent company, ServiceMaster Company alleged that a manager forced a pregnant pest technician to take medical leave and then fired her because of her pregnancy.   

According to the announcement, the female technician informed her employer of a restriction against handling pesticides. The company honored her restriction for approximately six weeks, and then terminated her employment, claiming it did not have enough work for her to perform with this restriction.   

After discharging the technician, Terminix then hired two male employees to perform reinspections that the female technician could have performed, the EEOC said.  

In addition to the award of monetary damages, the two-year consent decree enjoins Terminix from unlawfully forcing pregnant employees on medical leave and terminating a pregnant employee on maternity leave based on sex.