'Stranger than Fiction' Producers Settle on Pregnancy Discrimination Charges

February 17, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Crick Pictures, L.L.C., and Mandate Pictures, L.L.C., will pay $75,000 to settle a federal pregnancy discrimination suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.

According to the announcement, the EEOC’s suit charged that the movie production companies refused to hire a pregnant job applicant, Cynthia Castillo-Hill, for a position as an extras casting assistant after they learned she was expecting. Castillo-Hill sought work on the film “Stranger Than Fiction,” which stars Will Ferrell.

“The EEOC’s evidence in this case – which included an e-mail from the hiring supervisor – showed that the defendants believed that Castillo-Hill’s pregnancy would prevent her from being able to handle the stress and long hours associated with the job though her own doctor had indicated that the job was appropriate,” explained EEOC Chicago District Office head Jack C. Rowe, in the announcement.

The consent decree settling the suit provides that the defendants will pay Castillo-Hill and her attorneys a total of $75,000, less applicable taxes. It also enjoins the companies from future pregnancy discrimination and retaliation and requires the defendants to provide training to their managers about the obligation to avoid discrimination.

The agreement settles EEOC v. Crick Pictures, et al., Case No. 08 cv 5005, N.D. Illinois E. Div.