Employment-Seventh Circuit Rules That Plaintiff Has Made Out A Case Of A Violation Of The Pregnacy Discrimination Act

In Hitchcock v. Angel Corps, Inc., No. 12-3515 (7th Cir. 2013), the plaintiff Hitchcock had alleged that the defendant Angel Corps, a home care agency, firedher because she was pregnant, in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Angel Corps proffered multiple explanations for why Hitchcock was fired, all revolving around a bizarre incident involving the death of a 100-year-old potential client. After both parties consented to adjudication of the matter before a magistrate, he granted Angel Corps’s motion for summary judgment. Hitchcock appeals.

In analyzing the case, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Court”) found that Hitchcock had submitted evidence that the supervisor who fired her expressed animus towards pregnant women and treated Hitchcock differently after learning she was pregnant, only a few weeks before she was fired. Angel Corps’s many explanations for Hitchcock’s termination were shifting, inconsistent, facially implausible, or all of the above. The Court said that a reasonable jury could conclude that Angel Corps’s explanations were lies, and that Hitchcock was fired because she was pregnant. As such, the Court overturned the summary judgment, and remanded the case back to the lower court.