One of San Diego’s largest steel and iron manufacturers fired an employee because she got pregnant, in violation of federal law, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Pacific Coast Iron. Photo via Google Maps
Pacific Coast Iron. Photo via Google Maps

The employee was harassed by the CEO and officer manager at Spring Valley-based Pacific Coast Iron Inc. after informing them of her pregnancy in 2011, the suit alleges.

The woman, who was not identified, was fired while she was on maternity leave, according to the complaint.

A representative at Pacific Coast Iron said she couldn’t comment because she hadn’t seen the lawsuit.

The EEOC alleges that the two company officials told the woman that she was “stupid” to get pregnant, instructed her to urinate in a bucket, warned her not to miss work for doctor’s appointments and made inappropriate comments about whether she would have child care.

The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further alleged harassment and discrimination at the business.

“EEOC continues to see cases involving pregnant women who are subjected to harassment and termination because they want to have children,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC’s Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes San Diego County.

“Employers need to be sure that their policies protect pregnant women from unlawful harassment and discrimination,” Park said.

— City News Service