Cassone Leasing to Pay $85,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Case | United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Long Island-based company fired employee shortly after learning of pregnancy, federal agency charged

NEW YORK – Cassone Leasing, Inc., a Ronkonkoma, Long Island-based company that rents and sells office trailers and storage containers, will pay $85,000 and provide other reparations to settle a discrimination lawsuit related to pregnancy filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC lawsuit, Cassone summarily fired an employee after learning she was pregnant. Cassone hired the employee in early April 2018, when she was about 12 weeks pregnant. At that time, her pregnancy was not visible and she did not reveal it to Cassone. On May 10, 2018, Cassone gave the employee her 30-day review, rating her performance as an “89”, which was only one point away from “Excellent”. Despite this, Cassone fired her on May 14, 2018 – a week after a pregnancy-related absence and less than a week after disclosing her pregnancy to human resources. The next day, Cassone replaced her with a non-pregnant employee.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.

The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Cassone Leasing, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-3721) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, after first attempting to reach to a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation procedure. The case was argued by prosecutors Renay Oliver and Christina Piaia and supervising attorney Nora Curtin.

The settlement follows a November 2021 court decision denying Cassone’s motion for summary judgment and finding that the evidence against Cassone warrants a trial.

In addition to monetary relief, the two-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit requires Cassone to provide anti-discrimination and harassment training; revise its equal employment opportunity policies to include a more robust complaints and investigation procedure, as well as a new provision on pregnancy-related accommodations; and report complaints of gender discrimination, including pregnancy and harassment, to the EEOC. The EEOC will monitor Cassone’s compliance with these obligations over the next two years.

“Pregnant employees should receive equal treatment in the workplace,” said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the New York District of the EEOC. “The EEOC is committed to vigorously enforcing pregnancy discrimination laws and eradicating the discriminatory treatment of pregnant employees.”

Judy Keenan, EEOC New York District Director, added, “As pregnancy-related discrimination in the workplace persists, the EEOC remains committed to protecting pregnant employees from discrimination in the workplace. work and to ensure that strong policies are in place to guarantee the rights of all employees.

The EEOC’s New York District Office is responsible for handling charges of discrimination and conducting agency litigation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Northern New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.

You can learn more about pregnancy-related discrimination at https://www.eeoc.gov/pregnancy-discrimination.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.


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