A woman is suing Albertson’s because she says the grocery chain ignored the fact that she had a high-risk pregnancy and continued to require her to do lifting and other physically-demanding work at her job as a merchandise manager.
Reyna Garcia says she was told she had a high-risk pregnancy and shouldn’t be lifting more than 15 lbs while pregnant. According to the NY Daily News:
Despite three doctor’s notes she provided to her superiors, Garcia, whose job at the grocery store as a merchandise manager required heaving lifting and climbing, alleges the store denied her requests for less labor-intensive work.
In November of 2012, while 20 weeks pregnant, Garcia asked to leave work because she was experiencing a great deal of pelvic pressure. Her managers denied the request, reportedly because they were expecting a visit from corporate supervisors the same day. Later, Garcia gave birth to a baby girl who lived for only ten minutes. When she returned to work after a six week leave, she alleges that she was was stripped of some of her supervisory capabilities.
Pregnancy discrimination on the job is a real thing, as seen in the last year or so by the high-profile case of the pregnant woman who was fired for needing to pee too often, among other cases. It sounds like Garcia was very proactive in letting her employer know about her doctor’s recommendations in regards to her pregnancy, so I’m puzzled as to why Albertson’s continued to allow (and even encourage) her to do work that was unsafe for her and her fetus. I’m interested to see how this lawsuit plays out…if the chain will change its policies or if the mistake was confined to the specific store where Garcia worked.
Garcia is suing for unspecified emotional and other damages. Albertson’s, in a statement, said that their company has:
“a proactive policy of accommodating pregnancy-related disabilities and consistently works with pregnant associates and their medical professionals.”
Photo via Flickr user Daniel Oines