The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Dash Dream Plant, an orchid farm located in Dos Palos, California, 65 miles northwest of Fresno. Officials state that the California business broke federal law when they refused to give women their jobs back after completing maternity leave. At least four women are involved in the suit, making the same pregnancy discrimination allegations against the company.
The Defendant: Dash Dream Plant, Inc. Dash Dream holds over 140,000 square feet of land and utilizes multiple greenhouses to handle wholesale and personal orchid based orders. They keep an experienced staff on hand, claiming over 20 years of experience. The business began in Korea and expanded to the United States in the late 1990’s. The Dash Dream Plant facility is designed to facilitate both wholesale and retail orders with a retail location within the farm. The farm grows: Cybidiums, Dendrobiums, and Phalaenopsis Orchids in a variety of colors.
Officials involved in the case state that during Dash Dream Plant staff meetings, managers advised women in attendance not to get pregnant because there were already “too many of them.” They also advised workers that the next to get pregnant should just consider themselves fired from their position with the orchid farm.
Pregnant workers in California are protected by both state and federal employee laws. They have the right to take pregnancy leave without penalty. In fact, California is one of the best states in the nation for pregnant workers and/or workers who plan to have or adopt children. Employers are required by law to respect the right to take disability leave or pregnancy leave in accordance with California pregnancy leave laws.
The law related to this lawsuit states that businesses that have 15 or more employees have to hold a job for women who will be returning from maternity leave. When advised of the lawsuit and the allegations included, Dash Dreams did not respond with a comment.
The southern California employment lawyers at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik have the experience needed to help workers in California. Having served as legal representation for both employees and employers in the southern California area, we offer a unique perspective of both sides of the legal argument in employment law cases. If you need assistance with pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, please get in touch as soon as possible.