Under both federal and New York state laws, women are to be afforded the same opportunities in the workforce as men. However, despite the law and efforts of state officials to ensure adequate representation and opportunity, some companies still fail to recognize the value of women in the workplace, and some even trample women’s labor and civil rights. This is exactly the allegation behind a recent lawsuit filed by a former female employee against a doughnut business on New York City’s lower east side.
According to the woman’s unlawful discrimination lawsuit filed last month, in 2012 she was demoted twice and then ultimately fired after informing her superiors about her pregnancy. She had been with the doughnut company for more than a year, had been promoted to personnel manager and was overseeing two store locations. After she informed her employer of her pregnancy, she says, she was demoted from salaried to hourly employee and told to look after just one store. The woman claims she was reprimanded for not completing certain tasks despite not being responsible for those duties after her demotion.
Just before her maternity leave, she was fired. Her lawsuit is seeking compensation for physical and emotional damages as well as reinstatement. The doughnut shop, on the other hand, asserts that it firmly adheres to all laws regarding pregnant employees. It described its employee polices as family friendly and fair.
Any form of wrongful termination-including outright discrimination and retaliation-is a serious violation of state and federal labor laws and infringes on employees’ civil rights. Although employers have the right of at-will termination, they cannot make such decisions based on several prohibited categories, including race and sex. New Yorkers who experience such termination may need the guidance of a law professional to protect their rights from being violated.
Source: The Daily Meal, “Doughnut Plant Employee Says She Was Demoted, Then Fired for Being Pregnant,” Karen Lo, Dec. 30, 2014