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EEOC v. Bloomberg (SDNY Order 8.17.2011)

EEOC v. Bloomberg (SDNY Order 8.17.2011)

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Published by pospislaw
SDNY Judge Preska's decision granting summary judgment to Bloomberg LP in plaintiffs' pregnancy discrimination lawsuit
SDNY Judge Preska's decision granting summary judgment to Bloomberg LP in plaintiffs' pregnancy discrimination lawsuit

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Published by: pospislaw on Aug 18, 2011
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08/18/2011

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK-----------------------------------XEQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY :COMMISSION, : 07 Civ. 8383 (LAP):Plaintiff, : Opinion & Order:-
 
v. - ::BLOOMBERG L.P., ::Defendant. :-----------------------------------XJILL PATRICOT, TANYS LANCASTER, :JANET LOURES, MONICA PRESTIA, :MARINA KUSHNIR and MARIA :MANDALAKIS, ::Plaintiffs-Intervenors, ::-
 
v. - ::BLOOMBERG L.P., ::Defendant. :-----------------------------------XLORETTA A. PRESKA, Chief United States District Judge:In a heralded complaint, the United States EqualEmployment Opportunity Commission accused Bloomberg L.P. ofengaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination againstpregnant employees or those who have recently returned frommaternity leave in violation of Title VII, 42 United StatesCode. However, “J’accuse!” is not enough in court. Evidence isrequired. The evidence presented in this case is insufficientto demonstrate that discrimination was Bloomberg’s standardoperating procedure, even if there were several isolated
Case 1:07-cv-08383-LAP Document 202 Filed 08/16/11 Page 1 of 64
 
2instances of individual discrimination. As its standardoperating procedure, Bloomberg increased compensation for womenreturning from maternity leave more than for those who tooksimilarly lengthy leaves and did not reduce the responsibilitiesof women returning from maternity leave any more than of thosewho took similarly lengthy leaves.The law requires that employers not discriminateagainst pregnant women on the basis of their pregnancy.Considering the evidence, not the accusations, the Court cannotsay that the EEOC has proffered evidence from which a factfindercould conclude that Bloomberg engaged in a systemized practiceof decreasing the pay, responsibility, or other terms andconditions of the employment of pregnant employees and mothersbecause they became pregnant or took maternity leave.Therefore, the Court grants the Defendant’s motion for summaryjudgment on the Plaintiff’s pattern or practice claim.I. BACKGROUNDThe basic allegations and procedural history of thiscase are stated adequately in the Court’s prior opinions, withwhich the Court assumes familiarity. EEOC v. Bloomberg L.P.(Bloomberg II), 751 F. Supp. 2d 628 (S.D.N.Y. 2010); EEOC v.Bloomberg L.P. (Bloomberg I), No. 07 Civ. 8383, 2010 WL 3466370(S.D.N.Y. Aug. 31, 2010). Plaintiff Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission (“EEOC”) brought a case on behalf of a
Case 1:07-cv-08383-LAP Document 202 Filed 08/16/11 Page 2 of 64
 
3class of similarly situated women who were pregnant and tookmaternity leave (“Class Members”), asserting that DefendantBloomberg L.P. (“Bloomberg”) engaged in a pattern or practice ofdiscrimination on the basis of the class members’ sex and/orpregnancy. The EEOC alleges that Bloomberg reduced pregnantwomen’s or mothers’ pay, demoted them in title or in number ofdirectly reporting employees (also called “direct reports”),reduced their responsibilities, excluded them from managementmeetings, and subjected them to stereotypes about femalecaregivers, any and all of which violated the law because theseadverse employment consequences were based on class members’pregnancy or the fact that they took leave for pregnancyrelated-reasons. The EEOC asserted the same claims on behalf ofseveral individual claimants. The EEOC also brought aretaliation case on behalf of several individual claimants, butthat portion of this lawsuit has been dismissed for failure toconciliate those claims out of court. Bloomberg II, 751 F.Supp. 2d at 643. The EEOC did not bring a hostile workenvironment claim. Before the Court is Bloomberg’s motion forsummary judgment on the pattern or practice claim only.
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Throughout this opinion, the Court looks to theDeclaration of Raechel L. Adams (“Adams Decl.”) Dated April 8,2011, the Declaration of Thomas H. Golden (“Golden Decl.”) DatedApril 18, 2011, and the Declaration of Paul W. Horan (“HoranDecl.”) Dated January 28, 2011. In addition, the Court(cont’d . . .)
Case 1:07-cv-08383-LAP Document 202 Filed 08/16/11 Page 3 of 64

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