By Lindy Korn, Esq.

Recently, a steakhouse and catering company settled a lawsuit brought by its restaurant hostess Macee Hoffman. According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the restaurant denied Macee’s request to sit on a stool in between helping customers due when she was experiencing foot and back pain during her seventh month of pregnancy. Macee’s request was refused, but after she obtained a doctor’s note to prove her need for a stool, at her manager’s request, she was provided with a stool for a short time. However, her manager removed the stool saying it didn’t look good and fired her.

“No one should be forced out of a position they can perform because they are pregnant,” said EEOC attorney Andrea G. Baran. “Workers who are fired for pregnancy-related reasons are particularly vulnerable because it can be difficult to find a new job while pregnant,” said Baran.

The judge who decided the case said that the restaurant violated Title VII, and would have to adopt an anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation policy, and post the policy for its employees to see. The judge also said that the restaurant would have to provide accommodations to all pregnant employees who need them. Restaurant managers were also required to take a two-hour training course in preventing pregnancy discrimination, and the company had to also agree to train its employees.

Federal protections for pregnant workers have expanded under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and now require that all employers must follow the law required regarding anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation in accommodating pregnant workers.

Lindy Korn, Esq. is an attorney who focuses on preventing and correcting illegal workplace discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. Learn more at or call 716-856-KORN.