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The cost of doing business for Bob Evans

With 600 locations in 24 states, Bob Evans restaurants promotes country living and a close connection to farms. Some would say their approach hearkens back to simpler times. However, being "old-fashioned" apparently went beyond the setting they provided their customers.

The work environment for one employee in particular could be described as hostile.

Hayley Macioce was a waitress at the West Mifflin location when she became pregnant. After hearing the news about Macioce, the restaurant manager removed her from the automatic scheduling system. He justified his decision by claiming that he did not want to "get screwed over" when she went into labor.

In addition to removing her from the restaurant's schedule, he informed her that the only way she could be put back on it was to call in and request hours.

Macioce filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They subsequently filed a lawsuit. Bob Evans admitted that their manager took her off the schedule. However, he believed that the due date was imminent and that uncertainty made the near future for his restaurant operations unpredictable.

U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak of the Western District of Pennsylvania sided with the EEOC that the waitress and soon-to-be mother was effectively dismissed because of her pregnancy. He cited the manager's decision to stop scheduling her and denying her hours being based solely on her pregnancy.

In spite of the decision in Macioce's favor, the case will go to trial on other grounds, specifically back pay, emotional distress, damages and injunctive relief.

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