Excerpted from The News Tribune By Alexis Krell

A Tacoma-based company illegally fired a pregnant security officer, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged in a lawsuit this week.

The EEOC filed its lawsuit against the Oatridge Security Group on Monday in U.S. District Court.

A shift supervisor for the company at the Seattle Tunnel Project told a manager that she was pregnant, and “he responded that working security was not proper for a pregnant woman and that she would likely lose her supervisory position,” the EEOC said in a press release.

The woman was fired, and, when she tried to get her job back, “the company reiterated that it was not comfortable with a pregnant security officer,” the release said. “Shortly after she filed an EEOC charge alleging pregnancy discrimination, the operations manager told her in an angry outburst there was no way she would ever work for Oatridge again.”

The News Tribune was not able to reach Oatridge for comment.

The agency alleges the company violated federal law by firing the worker and by retaliating against her for reporting the discrimination.

“This woman attained a supervisory role in a non-traditional, male-dominated industry, then lost her job due to stereotypes about what a pregnant woman can or cannot do,” Nancy Sienko, director of the EEOC’s Seattle Field Office, said in the statement. “That’s an unacceptable loss for this individual, the company and the industry. Employers cannot penalize working women for pregnancy — or for asserting the right to oppose such discrimination.”

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