The Cato Corporation makes money off women who buy their clothing and accessories, but now they have to pay $3.5 million for mistreating pregnant employees and those with disabilities. An EEOC investigation found the retailer of women’s fashion and accessories denied accommodations to certain pregnant employees or those with disabilities. The EEOC said Cato made employees take unpaid leaves of absence, and or fired them because of their disabilities.
According to the EEOC,
Failing to accommodate pregnant women with restrictions and limitations violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Denying employees with disabilities job modifications, leaves of absence or returns to work as reasonable accommodations violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The North Carolina company has agreed to pay $3.5 million. According to the EECO, the money will be distributed to employees who were fired because they were pregnant or had disabilities. The company has also agreed to revise its employment policies to more fully consider whether medical restrictions of its pregnant employees or those with disabilities can be reasonably accommodated.
The company will also conducted training to more than 10,000 employees and report to the EEOC for three years. Julianne Bowman is the EEOC Chicago District Director. She said, ” Giving employees a job modification that allows them to continue working can be a critical reasonable accommodation for pregnant women or people with disabilities when they really need that paycheck.”
The EEOC said that this was a voluntary settlement by the Cato Corporation. Read more on the case at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Interesting facts about CATO Corporation:
- The top executives are men and the majority of their board members are men too. >> Corporate Governance
- The company made $842 million in sales in 2017 according to a letter to shareholders from John Cato, Chairman, President and CEO of the company. 2017 Annual Report
- Sales are down according to the company website’s News Releases:
The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales for the four weeks ended December 1, 2018 of $59.4 million, down 4% compared to sales of $62.2 million for the four week period ended November 25, 2017. Same-store sales for the month decreased 6% compared to the four weeks ended December 2, 2017.