Fashion Retailer To Pay $3.5M To Button Up EEOC Probe

Cato Corporation, a Seller of Women’s Fashions, Agrees to $3.5 Million Payment of EEOC Investigation

The EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced that Cato Corporation was settling EEOC allegations for millions. The settlement resolves charges that Cato mistreated pregnant employees and mistreated employees with disabilities. The Cato Corporation is a leading retailer for women’s fashion and accessories/

Cato Corporation’s website claims that it sells Cato Fashion brand women’s fashion clothing and accessories in 32 states and over 1,000 stores according to a write-up of the lawsuit in Law360. Cato corporation also sells products in 20 states under the brand – Verona. It sells fashion in 14 states using the brand – It’s Fashion and It’s Fashion Metro.

To discourage future misconduct, Cato Corporation also agreed, in addition to the $3.5 million payment to:

  • Conduct employee training on pregnancy and disability discrimination for its 10,000 plus employees.
  • Submit regular reports to the EEOC for three years. The reports should show how Cato is handling requests from pregnant women and people with disabilities. The requests are for reasonable accommodations so workers can do their job.
  • To review medical restriction policies that cover reasonable accommodation requests.
  • To review complaints of discrimination based on pregnancy or disability.

The award will be paid to workers who were improperly fired due to pregnancy or disability.

The Director of the Philadelphia EEOC District commended Cato Corporation for agreeing to the voluntary settlement. The Director emphasized that it is crucial that workers with a disability and pregnant women be given a reasonable opportunity to perform their job.

Federal discrimination laws protect expectant mothers and people with disabilities from being fired or forced to take unpaid leaves because of their medical condition. Cato Corporation, according to the Law360 article, said they have “ Respect for all associates and a commitment to provide accommodations to associates who need them are key values at Cato.”

Laws that protect pregnant workers and disabled employees

Some of the discrimination and other federal laws that protect pregnancy and disability in the workplace are:

  • The Civil Rights of Act of 1964
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • California Family Rights Act
  • California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law
  • California Fair Employment and Housing Act

Workers who believe they may have been discriminated against based on a disability, a pregnancy, or for any other reason, need experienced help. The discrimination lawyers at Stephen Danz & Associates have hundreds of years of combined legal experience. We have employment litigation offices throughout California. For immediate help, call us 877-789-9707 to schedule an appointment.