In a big win for Mayor Bloomberg’s media company, a federal judge on Monday barred the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from seeking claims on behalf of 32 employees who allege they were discriminated against after getting pregnant.
“The court does not impose this severe sanction lightly and recognizes that certain … claims may be meritorious but now will never see the inside of a courtroom,” Chief Manhattan federal Judge Loretta Preska wrote in a 30-page ruling siding with Bloomberg LP.
“However, the Court finds that allowing the EEOC to revisit conciliation at this stage of the case—after shirking its prelitigation investigation responsibilities and spurning Bloomberg’s offer of conciliation … would further prejudice Bloomberg.”
In 2011, Preska rejected the EEOC’s claim that Bloomberg regularly discriminated against pregnant women but allowed some individual claims to proceed.
Preska in a separate 181-page ruling in the six-year-old case also dismissed claims of pregnancy bias by five of the plaintiffs against Bloomberg LP, but allowed part of a case by a sixth staffer to move forward.
“We are gratified by the Court’s ruling today which confirms that this case should not have been brought in the first place. Bloomberg is a great place to work and throughout our history we have been well-known for offering some of the most generous employee benefits and policies in corporate America,” said Daniel Doctoroff, CEO and president of Bloomberg LP.
Lawyers for EEOC and the individual plaintiffs did not immediately return messages.