EEOC Sues Nice Systems, Inc., for Pregnancy Discrimination, Retaliation, and Constructive Discharge

Original Article EEOC Newsroom
Press Release07-01-2020

Company Denied Employee her Commission Because She was Pregnant, Retaliated against her for Complaining, and Forced her to Resign, Federal Agency Charged

PALM BEACH COUNTY – NICE Systems, Inc., a software company, which provides software for customer experience, regulatory compliance, and financial crime prevention, violated federal law by paying an employee less, retaliating against her, and forcing her to resign because of her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. 

According to the EEOC’s suit, after the employee informed her supervisor that she was pregnant he stopped assigning her sales leads and denied her commission payments. When she complained, NICE Systems, Inc. retaliated against her and asked her to “stop being so emotional.” Upon her return from pregnancy leave, her lucrative sales territory was taken away from her and she was reassigned a new sales territory with little-to-no existing clients for her sales product.  NICE Systems, Inc. did nothing to address her complaints and she was forced to resign.

Reducing an employee’s pay, retaliating against her, and forcing her to resign because of her pregnancy violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. NICE Systems, Inc., Case No. 9:20-cv-81021) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida only after exhausting its conciliation efforts to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement.  The agency is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the employee, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent any further discriminatory practices.

“Becoming pregnant should not derail a woman’s career,” said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District Office. “Although maternity leave is a comparatively small amount of time in a woman’s overall career span, many companies still take a short-sighted approach, failing to value the contributions women bring to the workplace.” 

Bradley Anderson, acting district director of the EEOC’s Miami’s District Office, added, "in corporate offices, we often see that the discrimination is more subtle—but just as damaging—to a woman’s career.  The EEOC will continue to fight on behalf of pregnant employees so that women can make decisions about having children without fear of negative consequences at work.”

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