Julia Teague v. Omni Hotels Press Release
Kaplan Law Firm recently filed an important pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against Omni Hotels Management Corporation and TRT Holdings, Inc.
The plaintiff, Julia Teague, alleges that Omni made the decision to fire her from her Director of Marketing job at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa after learning she was pregnant and would be taking FMLA leave to care for her newborn child.
Teague is represented by Austin Kaplan of Kaplan Law Firm.
The Complaint alleges that Teague began working at Barton Creek Resort & Spa in 2012, a year before the resort was acquired by Omni; that she was an exemplary employee; and that in each year since 2014, Omni increased her salary. The Complaint alleges that Omni named Teague its 2014 Director of Marketing of the Year during an awards ceremony in March 2015. The Complaint further alleges that Omni always gave Teague positive performance reviews. However, the Complaint also alleges that after Teague notified her supervisor and the Resort’s male Managing Director of her pregnancy, Omni told her that her position would be eliminated.
The Complaint alleges that Omni delivered this news to Teague right before her baby was due, and that Omni officially fired Teague just after she returned to work following maternity leave. The Complaint further alleges that Omni made no attempt to find alternative positions for Teague as it successfully did for her similarly situated male coworkers.
The Complaint alleges that despite claiming to eliminate her position as part of a large-scale layoff, Omni reposted Teague’s Director of Marketing position just weeks later. Teague applied for it, and despite being the most qualified candidate with over a decade of marketing and communications experience in the hotel and hospitality industry including six years of experience in that very role, Omni refused to re-hire Teague.
“Omni Hotels turned what should have been one of the best times of my life into one of the most trying times. When all of my focus should have been going to my newborn baby girl, I instead had to deal with the incredible stress of financial loss and finding a new means to help support my family. I will never get that time with my baby back,” said Teague. “I owe it to my two daughters to share this story, fight for women’s rights and do my part to ensure they never have to experience this blatant level of discrimination.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first lawsuit against Omni alleging the company treats women unfairly. In 2017, ex-supervisor Emery Lindsley filed suit against Omni alleging sexual harassment and retaliation. Additionally, in recent months, multiple other lawsuits have been filed against Omni for alleged sexual harassment and assault. The attorney currently representing four of the women commented that“Omni is just refusing to accept responsibility. They enabled a sexual predator from the day they hired him, and they allowed him to continue what he was doing for nearly a year.”
It has been 40 years since the Pregnancy Discrimination Act made discrimination against pregnant employees illegal. However, a recent survey of over 1,000 women found that while over half of pregnant women surveyed needed a change in work schedule or time off, more than one in four did not ask their employers about it, possibly out of fear of retaliation or reprisal similar to what Teague alleges.
Regarding this lawsuit, Kaplan noted: “Congress made pregnancy discrimination illegal 40 years ago. This is not a new concept. And yet, women in 2019 continue to be scared to tell employers about their pregnancy because of exactly what happened here. They are afraid they will be fired. They are afraid they will be robbed of their career. They fear for their kids, and their families. That is why it is so important that brave people like Ms. Teague stand up and send a message to employers on behalf of new parents: we have rights, and if you violate them, we will enforce the law.”
The Complaint includes allegations of violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code as part of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Since 2015, Kaplan Law Firm has represented multiple victims of pregnancy discrimination and retaliation across Texas. Kaplan Law Firm is committed to representing employees and individuals in employment and civil rights matters including whistleblower lawsuits, retaliation, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination.
View the entire filed Complaint.