Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion. PER CURIAM: Plaintiff Carine Armindo appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment to defendant Padlocker, Inc., on Armindo’sclaim of pregnancy discrimination. The district court held that Armindo failed to establish that Padlocker’s asserted reason forher termination-her poor attendance record-was a pretext for unlawful pregnancy discrimination. We affirm, holding, amongother things, that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), 42 U.S.C. � 2000e(k), is not violated by an employer who firesan employee for excessive absences, even if those absences were the result of the pregnancy, unless the employer overlooksthe comparable absences of non-pregnant employees. At the outset, we note that only a claim under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is at issue. The suit was not brought underthe Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. �� 2601-2654, nor could it have been, because Armindo had been employedby Padlocker as a permanent employee for only three months and was therefore not an “eligible employee.” See 29 U.S.C. �2611(2). The PDA provides that the prohibition against sex-based employment discrimination in � 703(a) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. �2000e-2(a), applies with equal force to discrimination on the basis of “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”See 42 U.S.C. � 2000e(k). Further, the PDA provides that “women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medicalconditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes . . . as other persons not so affected but similar intheir ability or inability to work.” 42 U.S.C. � 2000e(k). The analysis required for a pregnancy discrimination claim is thesame type of analysis used in other Title VII sex discrimination suits. Armstrong v. Flowers Hosp., Inc., 33 F.3d 1308,1312-13 (11th Cir. 1994). Armindo argues that she was discriminated against on account of her pregnancy when she was terminated in July 1996 fromher job as an entry level clerical employee after three months of probationary employment. Padlocker contends, however,that Armindo was terminated because of her poor attendance record. It is undisputed that Armindo missed at least six daysof work during her three months of employment, five of which were due to pregnancy-related illnesses and one because ofcar trouble. On nine other occasions Armindo either arrived late or left work early. At least some of these occasions ofmissed work were pregnancy-related. The district court assumed without deciding that Armindo had established a prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination, butheld that Armindo failed to establish that Padlocker’s explanation that she was fired because of her poor attendance was apretext for pregnancy discrimination. We review the district court’s grant of summary judgment de novo. See Armstrong, 33F.3d at 1309. The district court properly held Armindo failed to demonstrate that she was fired for any reason other than her poorattendance. Armindo did not attempt to show that she was treated differently from similarly situated non-pregnant employeeswho missed a comparable amount of work. A plaintiff alleging pregnancy discrimination need not identify specificnon-pregnant individuals treated differently from her, if the employer violated its own policy in terminating her. See Byrd v.Lakeshore Hosp., 30 F.3d 1380, 1383 (11th Cir. 1994) (inference of pregnancy discrimination arose where employer firedpregnant employee for excessive absences despite employee having missed no more than her sick time allotted undercompany policy). There was no evidence, however, that Padlocker violated company policy in terminating Armindo. In fact,Padlocker’s employee manual provided that employees only received sick days after successfully completing their initialthree-month probationary term of employment, which Armindo had not completed at the time of her absences. The onlyinference to be drawn is that Padlocker fired Armindo for missing work, not for being pregnant. The question becomes whether, as a matter of law, Padlocker violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to the extent that itsdecision to fire Armindo was based upon absences and other missed work that were the result of her pregnancy. The issue,generally stated, is whether the PDA requires an employer to treat favorably a pregnant employee whose pregnancy causedher to miss work, as compared to a non-pregnant employee who missed work on account of a different medical condition. The clear answer is that the PDA does not require favorable treatment in this respect. In Armstrong v. Flowers Hosp., 33F.3d 1308 (11th Cir. 1994), a pregnant nurse who had been fired by her employer for refusing to treat an HIV-positivepatient brought suit under the PDA. A panel of this circuit rejected plaintiff’s argument that the employer was required by thePDA to provide her with “alternative work” that she claimed would be safer for her fetus. The panel reasoned that, althoughthe language of the statute does not address whether employers are required to give favorable treatment to pregnantemployees, statements in the legislative history “make it clear that the PDA does not require employers to extend any benefitto pregnant women that they do not already provide to other disabled employees.” See Armstrong, 33 F.3d at 1316-17. Insupport of its holding, the panel cited the Seventh Circuit case of Troupe v. May Dept. Stores Co., 20 F.3d 734, 737-39(7th Cir. 1994), drawing from it the principle that “[w]hile the PDA requires the employer to ignore the pregnancy, theemployer need not ignore absences, unless the employer likewise ignores the absences of nonpregnant employees.” SeeArmstrong, 33 F.3d at 1317. The Armstrong panel’s holding–that employers may comply with the PDA without giving preferential treatment to pregnantemployees in the form of alternative work assignments-dictates the outcome of this case. The PDA is not violated by anemployer who fires a pregnant employee for excessive absences, unless the employer overlooks the comparable absences ofnon-pregnant employees. The district court properly held that Armindo did not show that Padlocker’s asserted reason for her termination-her poorattendance-was a pretext for discrimination “because of” her pregnancy. Nor did Padlocker violate the PDA to the extentthat it judged her on the basis of absences that were caused by her pregnancy. AFFIRMED.
Carine Armindo v. Padlocker, Inc. IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT No. 99-4144 Non-Argument Calendar D. C. Docket No. 97-07431-CV-WDF CARINE ARMINDO, Plaintiff-Appellant, versus PADLOCKER, INC., Defendant-Appellee. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (April 20, 2000) Before COX and WILSON, Circuit Judges, and RONEY, Senior Circuit Judge.
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

Pennsylvania Legal Awards 2021

June 24, 2021

The Legal Intelligencer honors lawyers leaving a mark on the legal community in Pennsylvania with their dedication to law.


Legalweek Leaders in Tech Awards 2021

July 16, 2021

Recognizing innovation in the legal technology sector for working on precedent-setting, game-changing projects and initiatives.


GlobeSt. Women of Influence Awards 2021

July 22, 2021
Park City, UT

GlobeSt. Women of Influence Conference celebrates the women who drive the commercial real estate industry forward.


Los Angeles, CA - Litigation Associate

Los Angeles, California, United States

Fox Rothschild LLP has an opening for an associate with 2-4 years of general litigation experience. A strong academic record and excellent w...

Apply Now ›

Associate Attorney - Litigation

Annandale, New Jersey, United States

Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C., a well-established and reputable Central NJ law firm, seeks associate with 0-2 years of civil litigation experi...

Apply Now ›


Chicago, Illinois, United States

Our client, a highly successful and rapidly growing, private international financial company is going public. They seek a well-trained ...

Apply Now ›


Connecticut Law Tribune

View Announcement ›




View Announcement ›



GILL & CHAMAS Congratulations to our partner and friend,DAVID H. LANDE, ESQ on his appointment to Judge in the Division of Workers Compensation.

View Announcement ›