Last week, a woman (“plaintiff’) filed a lawsuit against the Procter & Gamble Company (“P&G”) and alleges that she was fired because of her pregnant condition and in retaliation for her reasonable accommodation requests. Specifically, she alleges that she worked as a beauty style and sales associate for Dolce & Gabbana (which P&G owns) and was fired because her pregnant look did not convey the image that the Company was seeking and the Company did not want to provide her with the requested accommodations. The plaintiff alleges that she was required to adhere to “strict image rules” regarding her physical appearance. She alleges that one manager said that “pregnancy is not part of the uniform.” She further alleges that she was denied requested sit down breaks in a nearby work location. Her doctor had suggested she take due to her medical condition. A short time later, the plaintiff was fired for work-related issues. The plaintiff alleges that the basis for the termination was a pretext for pregnancy discrimination and was done in an unlawful retaliatory manner. This is a new case and bears following. There have been many other cases where an employee claimed that he or she was fired because the Company only wanted a specific look or image. In fact, courts have rejected that The case was filed under the New York City Human Rights Law and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment. Click on this link for a fact sheet from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on pregnancy discrimination.
If you or anyone you know has any questions about the rights for pregnant workers or an employer’s obligations under the law, contact our office for a confidential consultation.
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