New Jersey expectant mothers may not be happy to learn that a woman was allegedly fired from her job for being pregnant. She has filed a lawsuit against against Procter & Gamble, accusing the company of refusing to make small accommodations for her comfort and wrongfully terminating her employment.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was working at P&G's Dolce&Gabbana shop at Saks Fifth Avenue when she became pregnant at the end of 2014. She was concerned it might cause a problem at work because of the company's strict guidelines on employee appearance. She alleges that she had previously mentioned to her manager that she would like to have a baby in the future, but he told her that pregnancy was not the image that the company wanted to project.
During her pregnancy, the plaintiff says she suffered chronic nausea, dizziness, fatigue and headaches, but she continued to work. She says she felt faint one day and sat on a stool while assisting customers. Days later, she allegedly received a written warning for using the stool. According to the plaintiff, she asked human resources for an accommodation that would allow her to sit down periodically but continue working. She provided doctor's notes outlining the side effects she was experiencing. HR allegedly refused her request to sit but suggested she take short breaks in a back room. She was later fired for having product testers in her belongings, but she alleges it was actually due to her pregnancy.
Employers accused of discrimination or wrongful termination may face civil ligation. Companies faced with employee disputes may benefit by consulting with their attorneys before taking action.
ThinkProgress, "Woman Allegedly Fired For Being Pregnant After Boss Told Her 'Pregnancy Is Not Part Of The Uniform'," Bryce Covert, May 4, 2016