DFEH Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Case against Kitty Kat Bar in Huntington Park

July 16, 2018

For Immediate Release

Waitress terminated by employer after disclosing her pregnancy to receive $15,000

Sacramento – The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has reached a settlement in a gender discrimination case with Respondents Kitty Kat Bar and its owner, Custodio Mendez, involving alleged pregnancy discrimination in employment.

The complainant, a waitress in the bar, filed a charge with DFEH in May 2017 alleging that when the owner learned of her pregnancy, he harassed her, changed her work schedule to reduce her tips, and ultimately terminated her employment.

Based on its investigation, DFEH found cause to believe a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act had occurred and referred the case to DFEH’s Dispute Resolution Division, which provides no-cost mandatory dispute resolution services in cases DFEH intends to prosecute in court, where the case settled. As part of a settlement agreement, the Respondents will pay the complainant $15,000.

“Expectant mothers are entitled to work without fear of demotion, termination, or ridicule because they are pregnant,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “It is unlawful for employers to harass or take action against an employee because she is pregnant or may become pregnant.”

In addition to the monetary settlement, the Respondents have agreed to develop, implement, and distribute a written policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender, including pregnancy, and other protected characteristics. They will post DFEH posters regarding sexual harassment and discrimination in conspicuous places in any businesses owned, operated, or managed by Respondents, and will obtain fair employment training for Respondents’ owners, managers, supervisors, and employees annually, for five years.

Martha L. Gomez, Staff Counsel, represented DFEH.


The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. CRD’s mission is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-funded programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.

Communication Center: 800-884-1684 (voice), 800-700-2320 (TTY) or
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