Wayne Wright, LLP, whose motto is the law firm demands “respect and justice” for its clients, was sued for pregnancy based discrimination in 2015. The EEOC filed suit after Kendra Taylor-Andrews filed a complaint with the EEOC. Ms. Taylor-Andrews had been employed by Wayne Wright in Houston since 2004. She received favorable performance reviews during her employment. But, in 2011, she told her employer that she was pregnant. The law firm told her it could not accommodate her pregnancy and told her to choose her last day on the job. When she asked for clarification, the firm placed her on a personal improvement plan. Within a week, the firm fired her. Ms. Taylor-Andrews then filed a charge with the EEOC in June.
The employer would have received the charge by July. On August 19, 2011, it filed suit against Ms. Taylor-Andrews in County Court in Bexar County. The law firm sought a declaratory judgment stating it was justified in firing her, court costs and attorney fees. See Wayne Wright, LLP v. Taylor-Andrews, No. 371467. The former case manager was served with the lawsuit in September. The law firm then wisely dropped the lawsuit a week or so after it served the employee. Suing the employee in an EEOC charge constitutes pretty strong evidence of retaliation. Filing a lawsuit regarding civil rights violations should not subject a person to a counter-lawsuit.
The EEOC then filed suit against Wayne Wright, LLP in March, 2015. The EEOC does not file many cases. They can afford to be picky. That the agency was interested in filing this suit indicates it was a strong lawsuit.
A month later, Wayne Wright signed a consent decree agreeing to pay $15,000 in lost wages and $45,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. The law firm also agreed to post notices at all five Texas locations apprising workers of their rights regarding pregnancy discrimination. See EEOC v. Wayne Wright, LLP, No. 14-CV-00970 (S.D. Tex. 2014).