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A former social media manager for boutiques in Idaho and Washington was fired over postpartum concerns, federal officials said. The companies owe her $37,000.

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A former boutique worker was fired over concerns she wouldn’t be reliable after giving birth, federal officials said.

Now Sage Boutique and Just Because have to pay the former worker $37,000, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in a Wednesday, Dec. 21, news release.

The federal agency said the two businesses are in Hayden, Idaho, and Newport, Washington.

Neither business returned McClatchy News’ request for comment on Friday, Dec. 23.

Investigators with the EEOC discovered the social media manager had been fired over concerns about “postpartum reliability” even though she had a “positive record of performance and attendance” before her pregnancy, officials said.

“Under federal law, it is illegal for employers to make employment decisions based on stereotypes that assume a pregnant employee’s job performance will simply decline after the child is born,” Elizabeth M. Cannon, director of the EEOC’s Seattle Field Office, said in the release.

Firing someone because of pregnancy concerns is a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Under the law, employers cannot discriminate against a worker’s pregnancy, childbirth or related medical problems, according to the EEOC.

The companies and the former worker reached a settlement in the lawsuit, the release says.

In addition to the companies paying the worker $37,000 for compensatory damages, the businesses will also have to prevent future discrimination through “implementa­tion of policies, procedures and trainings designed to enhance accountability and oversight of managers and employees.”

“We commend Sage Boutique and Just Because Fashions for engaging in the conciliation process and taking affirmative steps to prevent future discrimination,” Cannon said.

Newport is near the Washington-Idaho border, about 50 miles northeast of Spokane.

Hayden, Idaho, is about 35 miles northeast of Spokane.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter covering the state of Washington and the western region. She’s a journalism graduate from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She’s based in Phoenix.

By Amalia