Plaintiff Cites EEOC Determination in Pregnancy Discrimination Suit Against AT&T

The former employee prosecuting a suit against AT&T Mobility Services LLC has pointed the court to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) determination that AT&T violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) based on its adherence to the same attendance policy at issue in her suit. The notice of supplemental authority comes while the plaintiff’s partial motion for summary judgment is fully briefed and pending.

The Indiana lawsuit alleges that AT&T fired the plaintiff, a retail store employee, unfairly after she accrued too many demerit points under the company’s attendance policy. The woman moved for summary judgment last November on the issue of whether AT&T’s attendance policy violates the PDA.

AT&T opposed, contending that the policy is neither facially discriminatory nor actually discriminatory. The company said that questions of fact persist about whether the plaintiff submitted the requisite documentation pertaining to her absences and whether it treated non-pregnant employees differently, among other issues.

Now, the plaintiff points to an April 15 EEOC determination that followed an agency investigation finding that “AT&T’s policy, by its terms and in its application, ‘discriminates against female employees on the basis of pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, childbirth, and against employees with disabilities,’ and further, that ‘there is reasonable cause to conclude that a nationwide class of female employees with pregnancy-related conditions were subjected to discrimination [by AT&T]’ in violation of the PDA.”

The plaintiff argues that the facts in the EEOC discrimination charge and the plaintiff’s case are “virtually identical in all relevant respects.” She further implores the court to adopt the EEOC’s ruling in its summary judgment adjudication, citing case law that says federal courts may rely on the EEOC’s expertise in discrimination cases.

The plaintiff is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and Cohen & Malad LLP and AT&T by Paul Hastings LLP.