Selling makeup at a posh Saks Fifth Avenue shop worked out fine until Tiffany Kantrowitz says she became pregnant, according to an article from Think Progress.
Kantrowitz hoped working for Procter & Gamble’s Dolce and Gabbana would help her move up in the fashion and beauty industry. But after getting pregnant in 2014, P&G rejected her requests for small changes to make a more comfortable work environment, she alleges in a lawsuit. And Kantrowitz, who was fired February 2015, is not alone.
Other women have leveled allegations that being pregnant led to their dismissal. A vice president for ticket sales alleged she was fired in 2014 by New York Mets co-owner, Jeff Wilpon, for getting pregnant out of wedlock. Both sides settled and agreed to have the case dismissed last year, according to an article in The New York Times.
A single mother who was diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy while working at New York Macy’s Herald Square was fired last year. She alleged HR refused her request for a stool to sit on during busy times, according to an article from DNO Info.
Even before becoming pregnant, Kantrowitz sensed that she would elicit little sympathy from her bosses at Dolce and Gabbana. “After remarking to her manger that she would like to have a baby at some point, [Kantrowitz] alleges he responded, ‘Pregnancy is not part of the uniform,’” according to the Think Progressarticle.
The case is all the more troubling because human resources failed to standup for Kantrowitz, she alleges. Kantrowitz asked her HR representative to be able to sit at times during her pregnancy while still being able to help customers at the store. She also brought in her doctor’s notes documenting side effects she had to endure.
“But the lawsuit claims that the HR representatives refused, saying she had to meet the same standards as her coworkers who weren’t pregnant,” the story reads. “Three weeks later, the company offered up its own solution, she says: taking breaks of five to ten minutes in one of two designated rooms, both on different floors than the one she worked on.”
New York State law requires employers give pregnant employee reasonable accommodations that could include a stool to sit on, the story notes. Kantrowitz’s suit also claims that she was not permitted to sit during her work shift “forced to use a faraway basement break room to rest her heels, and was told she would be docked maternity leave time every time she wasn’t hawking eyeliner and blush, a violation of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act.” So reports The New York Daily News.
The company’s solution just added more stress to her Kantrowitz’s workday and made her fear for her safety and that of her unborn child, she said.
“‘Ms. Kantrowitz was terminated for cause following an internal investigation,’” a P&G spokesperson said in a statement, according to Think Progress. The spokesperson also defended the company as a supportive place for working mothers.