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Coon Rapids dental office accused of pregnancy discrimination agrees to settlement

Morning headlines from Nov. 29, 2023
Morning headlines from Nov. 29, 2023 01:56

MINNEAPOLIS — A settlement agreement has been reached between a Coon Rapids dental office and a former employee who says she was fired due to her pregnancy.

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced the settlement with PL Dental after finding the employer violated Minnesota's civil rights law when it terminated Christina Vescio-Holland's employment.

"At a moment when this employee's economic security was especially important to Christina and her family, Christina's employer unlawfully fired her because of her pregnancy," MDHR Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said. "State law has prohibited pregnancy discrimination for decades and this case is a reminder how critical it is for employers to have supportive policies in place for pregnant employees."

MDHR says an office manager at PL Dental fired Vescio-Holland, who was pregnant with twins at the time, and claimed that there were performance shortcomings. MDHR says an investigation found no credible evidence of concerns pertaining to Vescio-Holland's performance.

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"MDHR found that PL Dental fired Vescio-Holland because of her pregnancy not because of any alleged performance shortcomings," a release from MDHR said.

In the settlement agreement, PL Dental will be required to pay Vescio-Holland $97,500, which is about three years of wages for her. The dental office is also required to "take action to prevent future unlawful discrimination," including training and enforcement of anti-discrimination policies. MDHR will be monitoring compliance.

Discrimination based on pregnancy has been illegal in Minnesota since 1977. 

Anyone who believes they have been discriminated against can submit an online form to MDHR.  

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