Stay informed and ready to meet both everyday challenges and long-term planning and policy-making goals, with focused news, practical information, and strategic insights on all HR-related developments.
March 28 — A medical records clerk for an Illinois gynecological and obstetrics practice who was fired after giving birth can proceed to trial with a pregnancy discrimination claim under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a federal judge ruled.
The ruling provides an example of how to raise a triable Title VII claim through a direct method of proving bias with circumstantial evidence, as opposed to the more frequently used McDonnell Douglas indirect, burden-shifting method.
Here, Durcy Camacho presented sufficient circumstantial evidence from which a jury could find that Gynecologic Specialists of Northwestern S.C. treated her differently because of her pregnancy or childbirth, Judge Charles R. Norgle of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois said in denying summary judgment to the medical practice.
For instance, Norgle said, Camacho offered evidence that she was fired three weeks after giving birth even though the practice's policy allowed for six weeks of post-delivery leave.
Gynecologic Specialists contended that it fired Camacho because it needed to downsize, and it did so by promoting the only other medical records clerk to a receptionist position, filling that vacated position and eliminating Camacho's role.
The judge, however, found that one prior instance of downsizing by Gynecologic Specialists was a result of doctors leaving, such as when it ended its obstetrics practice and the number of doctors at the office dropped from eight to three. A similar decrease in doctors didn't occur before the alleged reduction-in-force that led to Camacho's discharge, he said.
Further discrediting the stated termination reason, Camacho presented evidence that the office manager demanded that Camacho cover the practice's share of her health insurance premiums and, when she couldn't pay, subsequently fired her in the same month it stopped paying the premiums, Norgle said.
“Therefore, a reasonable jury could find circumstantial evidence showing that Defendant treated Plaintiff differently because she was ‘affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions,' ” he said.
Pokorny & Marks represented Camacho. Rock Fusco & Connelly represented Gynecologic Specialists.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jay-Anne Casuga in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the opinion is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Camacho_v_Gynecologic_Specialists_of_Northwestern_No_13_CV_3891_2.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)